Eagles fall to undefeated Homestead

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City’s boys basketball team turned the tables against Homestead Tuesday night.Unlike the Eagles’ first meeting with Homestead in late December, when they fell to a 16-0 deficit in the opening minutes, Columbia City scored the first points and had the lead at halftime.Despite the improvements, the Eagles still fell to the undefeated Spartans, 65-55, Tuesday in Columbia City.Homestead beat the Eagles by 18 points in their first meeting, after taking out their starters for much of the second half after taking a 32-12 lead.Tuesday’s contest was a completely different ballgame, as the Eagles had a one-point lead going into the second half.Brandon Gay started the game out with intensity as he hit two 3-pointers in two minutes and drew a charge on the defensive end, sparking Columbia City to a 15-8 lead five minutes into the game.Drew Benedict scored eight points in the second quarter. He opened the period with a 3-pointer and a foul for the possibility of a four-point play to tie the score after another bucket by Gamble.Benedict missed the free throw, but drew a charge on the defensive end.He did the same just before halftime after hitting a 3-pointer. Benedict hit two free throws as a result of the foul to take the lead back for the first time since the first quarter, 30-29 at halftime.Matt Rethlake and Daniel Woll both hit 3-pointers in the final 60 seconds to cut the deficit to five going into the final eight minutes.Columbia City started the quarter with two consecutive turnovers. The Eagles only had a five-point deficit with five minutes left to play, but two more turnovers and strong offensive play by Homestead put the game out of reach. Gay finished the game with a pair of free throws to make the score 65-55.Columbia City is back in action Friday, hosting Manchester.