Hoops . . . or Hockey?

COLUMBIA CITY — Columbia City fans saw what looked more like a hockey match than a boys basketball game Friday night.The Eagles hosted East Noble in the Northeast Hoosier Conference opener — in a game with two technical fouls and two Columbia City players who took a trip to the trainer’s office with injuries.Despite the rough-housing, the Eagles came out with their sixth victory, by a 76-35 score — improving to 6-0.The physical play began late in the first quarter, when Columbia City had a 20-12 lead.Though no technical foul was called, Austin Paul was knocked down. The sound of his head thumping the floor echoed across the gymnasium, taking him out of the game for the rest of the first half.East Noble’s first technical foul came in the second quarter, when nearly the same thing happened to Drew Benedict.The second technical foul came four minutes later after Derek Hinen was fouled en route to the bucket.Hinen hit his free throws and Mason Coverstone converted his fourth of four free throws from technical fouls, giving Columbia City a 36-22 lead.Hinen was pulled from the game late in the second quarter, due to blood on his jersey, but despite missing their leading scorer for the remainder of the half, the Eagles still carried a 45-22 advantage at halftime.Hinen scored 19 points in the first two quarters, a 3-pointer short of East Noble’s entire score.The second half appeared less like a hockey match and more like a basketball game, as Columbia City continued to stretch its lead.Coverstone knocked down three 3-pointers in the third quarter. He finished the game with 19 points, two steals and an assist.Along with his game-high 28 points, Hinen led the team in assists with five and steals with six.Daniel Woll had three blocks to go with his 14 oints and six rebounds, and Drew Benedict chipped in 12 points.The Eagles’ defense held East Noble to two points in the final quarter, making the final score 76-35.Columbia City is back in action Tuesday, hosting Wawasee in a non-conference match-up.