Lady Eagles put North out of reach

   COLUMBIA CITY — Friday night was just another step in the right direction for Columbia City girls’ basketball and its preparation for what matters most, the postseason.
   Picking up their third consecutive win over Fort Wayne North Side 47-30, the Lady Eagles improved to 4-1 in working for a strong run in February.
   “We’re just trying to prepare for sectional,” Columbia City first-year head coach Amy Shearer said. “We’ve got a lot of different teams we’ve played so we’ve seen a variety of competition in just trying to hone our skills for when we get into February.”
   The Lady Eagles have been on a three-game winning streak since their lost to Snider Nov. 16. Since that time, Columbia City has held a 17.3 margin of victory over its opponents helping itself to the best start since the 2006-07 season.
   Some early offensive production helped the Lady Eagles come off the Thanksgiving holiday with a early lead over North Side.
   “The game plan was to come out early and try to get a lead and try to maintain and do a few different things in the game,” Shearer stated.
   Seniors Kayla Dunn and Sierria Burlage helped Columbia City jump out to a comfortable lead by halftime. The duo is just another part of the depth the Eagles have to offer night in and night out.
   Dunn led all scorers with 11 points while Burlage did a little bit of everything. The senior swing player put up 10 points on the offensive end while adding seven rebounds.
   “We’ve tried to spread the wealth,” Shearer commented. “We’ve got a lot of kids that can score on any given night.
   “Kids are very unselfish. They want to win the basketball game. They really aren’t concerned with who is scoring 20 points a game for our team.”
   The Columbia City defense held the Redskins to just 20 points over the first three quarters while the    Lady Eagles posted at least 12 points in each of those periods.
   By halftime, the Eagles led 27-18 with the help of a 17-9 advantage in the second quarter.
   “Tonight’s always a tricky game because North Side is always athletic and very quick,” Shearer noted. “It’s the day after Thanksgiving and the kids are out of their routine.
   “So, we had spurts where we looked really good and some where we didn’t look so good.”
   Columbia City was out scored in the fourth quarter by North Side, scoring just six points.
   Fortunately for the Lady Eagles, tough defense allowed the margin to stay well above the double figure mark.
   A solid all-around game by senior Maddie Hinen was a key aspect of the Lady Eagles defense. To go along with her seven points, Hinen added three assists and two steals.
   The Lady Eagles held North Side’s leading scorer Sierra Miranda to seven points. The Redskins struggled from the free throw line going 6-for-20 compared to Columbia City’s 16-for-23 night at the line.