COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s boys basketball team went from hockey-like, physical play on Friday against East Noble to the run-and-gun tempo of Wawasee on Tuesday.
Despite being caught off guard early in the contest and facing a 14-point deficit, the Eagles pulled out an 89-66 win over the Warriors.
“I’m proud of the way our guys stuck with it,” said Columbia City head coach Chris Benedict. “They did a really good job of keeping their composure.”
Wawasee hit nine 3-pointers from six different players in the first eight minutes, with an offense that substituted five new players every five minutes.
The fast tempo stymied Columbia City’s 3-point shooting, which has been a firm foundation in the opening games.
The Eagles were down by as much as 14 points, but found their groove with the help of Daniel Woll and Derek Hinen, who scored a combined 63 points.
Hinen shot 14-of-14 from the field and Woll shot 14-of-18, helping the Eagles to 78 percent shooting from the field.
“We took what Wawasee gave us,” Benedict said. “They weren’t going to give Drew (Benedict) or Mason (Coverstone) any open looks at the three, so it enabled Derek and Daniel to go crazy inside.”
Along with buckets from Keaton Reed and Austin Paul, Hinen and Woll took turns hacking away at Wawasee’s lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Warriors 24-18 to make the score 52-48 at halftime.
Woll and Hinen scored consecutive buckets to open the second half, tying the score at 52. Woll’s second dunk of the game gave the Eagles their first lead, and Columbia City never looked back.
The Eagles outscored Wawasee 22-8 in the third period, with 17 points from Hinen and Woll, a 3-pointer from Drew Benedict and another jumper from Austin Paul.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter, as Columbia City proved it was worth of the “undefeated” title, outscoring the Warrors by 13 points and taking a decisive 89-66 win.
Along with his game-leading 34 points, Woll led the game in blocks and steals with four each and rebounds with 10. He was second in assists only to Hinen, who tallied 10.