COLUMBUS — It was a tale of two halves during Thursday’s Capital North Conference game between Columbus and Poynette at Columbus High School.
The Pumas matched everything thrown at them in the first half, but the Cardinals went on a 14-2 run to start the second half to run away with a 60-33 victory.
“We really preached at halftime to run the offense in a way that made it difficult for them to guard,” Columbus coach Ben Schambow said. “We set harder screens. We cut harder. We got to spots on the floor that are part of the offense and not random, made up spots. When you do that, obviously the offense is designed for certain shots and we were getting those shots in the second half.
“We told them at halftime, it’s a sign of a good team to make those halftime adjustments, take that coaching at halftime and apply it in the second half.”
On the other side, Poynette coach Cody Odegaard wasn’t pleased with how the Pumas came out of the locker room after trailing 22-16 at the break.
“We just didn’t play defense the whole second half. I thought we played good in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t move the ball as well as we should in the first half and in the second half, we didn’t do anything on either end of the floor. We didn’t move the ball like we were supposed to. We didn’t play any defense. It was lopsided in the second half.”
Columbus’ Will Cotter got a bucket in the paint 55 seconds into the second half that started the 14-2 run, which would put the Cardinals up 36-18 with 12:10 remaining.
Columbus’ Alex Campbell ended the long run with two foul shots at 12:30 before he stole the ball at half court for a layup just 20 seconds later.
Columbus’ Ben Emler led Columbus with a game-high 22 points. Both Cotter, Campbell and Ryan Schulte finished with six points apiece. Mason Carthew had his own 6-0 run that ended with 7:41 to go to put the Cardinals up 47-24.
“The one great thing about our team is we’re pretty balanced,” Schambow said. “Ben does get the bulk of the points typically, but on most nights we’ve got multiple guys on the floor who can knock down big shots, post up and score in the paint.
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“Mason stepped up tonight. For a sophomore, he’s still trying to figure out his role on the team. … Tonight, he let the game come to him. He was able to capitalize and hopefully that makes him more confident.”
Schambow said Columbus has been playing good defense all year. In the first half though, Columbus (13-5, 6-1 Capitol North) allowed Poynette’s Nik Feller to score 12 of his team-high 19 points.
“He’s a really good scorer,” Odegaard said. “He’s a really good shooter. A lot of teams are starting to go no-catch on him and starting to make it a little bit difficult for him. He’s getting a lot better on making some scoring cuts and getting some better cuts and getting his teammates open.”
Feller only had seven points in the second half for Poynette (6-13, 1-5), and Schambow said it was the defensive adjustments his team made at halftime.
“He can get his shot off no matter where he touches it,” Schambow said. “We tried to make it a little more difficult in the second half for him to catch it. We tried to switch our defense up so he at least had to take tough shots instead of easier ones he got in the first half.”
COLUMBUS 60, POYNETTE 33</&hspag3>
Poynette 16 17 - 33
Columbus 22 38 - 60
POYNETTE (33) ― (fgm ftm-fta pts) Jaden McCormick 2 2-2 6, Tyler Milewski 1 0-0 2, Vinny Ciano 1 0-0 3, Jake Buss 1 0-0 2, Nik Feller 7 2-2 19, Parker Walstad 0 1-3 1. Totals 12 5-7 33.
COLUMBUS (60) ― (fgm ftm-fta pts) Ryan Schulte 1 4-6 6, Alex Campbell 2 2-2 6, Will Cotter 3 0-0 6, Mason Carthew 4 1-2 9, Austin Rennhack 1 0-0 2, Caden Brunell 3 0-0 8, Connor Schroeder 0 1-2 1, Ben Emler 8 4-5 22. Totals 22 12-17 60.
3-pointers: P 4 (Nik Feller 3, Vinny Ciano 1), C 4 (Caden Brunell 2, Ben Emler 2). Total fouls: P 15, C 12. Fouled out: P – Colby Salvich.
Follow Mark McMullen on Twitter @mmcmull2 or contact him at 920-356-6754.