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First half deficit too much for short handed Columbia City in second half

January 26, 2011

Columbia City guard Sarah Opliger, left, takes off on a break away for the Lady Eagles Tuesday night on the road. Northrop’s Paige Wright, right, and the Lady Bruins used a 26-point halftime lead to hold off City in the second half 74-62. Post & Mail photo / Andrew Shultz

   FORT WAYNE — In most ordinary circumstances a 32-point fourth quarter will get a team the victory.
   Tuesday night’s game at Fort Wayne Northrop had no ordinary circumstances.
   After being down 26 points at halftime, Columbia City (10-8) outscored the hosting Lady Bruins (8-8) by 14 points in the second half. However, a strong shooting first half by Northrop was too much for the Lady Eagles to overcome in a 74-62 loss.
   The fourth consecutive loss for Columbia City didn’t have any bright moments in the first half with Northrop taking the lead immediately on a three-point play from leading scorer Alaina Schwarz — who had a game-high 20 points.
   Second and sometimes third chance points helped the Lady Bruins jump out to a 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
   Northrop scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters shooting 16-for-26 (62 percent) including five three-pointers.
   Columbia City was already short-handed for the night with two players out with the flu — Anna O’Dell and starting point guard Kayla Dunn.
   Foul troubles for the Lady Eagles compounded the problem with a 8-1 disadvantage in fouls at one point in the first half.
   The Eagles suffered two scoring droughts of three minutes or more with a 42-16 deficit at the break.
   “They (Northrop) shot the lights out in the first half,” Columbia City head coach Amy Shearer noted. “We tried focus on one (shot) and done on the defensive end and we weren’t getting the job done.”
   In the second half a different City team stepped on the court. The Eagles outscored Northrop 14-10 in the third quarter with the help of leading scorer Corinna Raypole. The senior forward scored eight of her team-high 18 points in the third.
   Columbia City cut a lead that grew to as much as 28 points down to seven points in the fourth quarter with the help of 32 points. The Lady Eagles used fouls to rally back but a 15-for-31 (48 percent) shooting   second half wasn’t enough.
   “Nobody quit,” Shearer said. “We had a heck of a second half. But when you dig yourself a hole, that’s pretty hard to get out of in a varsity basketball game.”

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