COLUMBUS — Even good teams have off nights over the course of a grueling season.
It was bound to happen for the Columbus prep boys basketball team — winners of six straight and 11 of its last 12 entering Friday night’s game against Lakeside Lutheran — at some point, and that point came in this contest as the Cardinals suffered their first Capitol North Conference loss in a 52-48 defeat at the hands of the Warriors.
“Tonight just wasn’t meant to be,” Columbus coach Ben Schambow said. “From the tip, they were more aggressive and they seemed to want it more than us. I feel like we came out just a little bit stagnant and maybe a little bit too confident. They outplayed us tonight.”
The Cardinals are now tied for first in the Capitol North with Lake Mills, which defeated Watertown Luther Prep 66-45 on Friday.
“It is our first loss and obviously we’re still in the thick of things,” Schambow said. “We still have games to go and very difficult things to go. Now is the time for us as a team to pull together after a little bit of adversity and not separate and put our heads down and pull apart.
“We’ll see what we’re made of at this point.”
It seemed like every time the Cardinals (11-5, 5-1 Capitol North) made a run Friday, the Warriors (9-8, 3-3) would answer back.
The first time came after Alex Campbell, who had eight points on the night, completed a three-point play to spark a 10-0 run that gave Columbus a 19-11 lead with 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half.
Neither side scored for almost 3 minutes after that. But when the lid on the basket finally lifted again, it was in favor of the Warriors, as Carter Schneider’s lay-up with 3:41 remaining in the half started a 17-3 run that bridged halftime and gave Lakeside a 28-22 lead with 4:18 gone by in the second half.
Ian Olszewki, who finished with nine points, finished the run with a jumper.
“They came out of the locker room a little more enthusiastic (than us),” Schambow said. “They closed out the first half on a bit of run and got some momentum. They came out the second half just riding that wave. We didn’t have an answer, unfortunately, until halfway through the second half when we got it down to two.”
The Cardinals clawed their way back to cut the deficit to two when Ben Emler, who led Columbus with 17 points, hit a jumper to make it 39-37 with 5:56 remaining.
The Cardinals were on a 6-1 run at that point with all the momentum on their side, but that was squashed when Schneider and Matthew Davis drained back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 run that gave the Warriors a 47-37 lead with 4:25 left.
“We made some boneheaded decisions by leaving open some shooters when we shouldn’t have,” Schambow said. “They made us pay for it.”
You have free articles remaining.
Schneider led the Warriors with a game-high 21 points while Davis finished with 12.
“They’re a tough matchup for us,” Schambow said. “We’ve got 5-foot-8 guarding 6-2. They had an easier time getting shots off. We couldn’t contest as many shots because of their length. What killed us is they had so many offensive rebounds tonight. They had so many second-chance points that we just weren’t aggressive enough. They 100 percent outworked us and it doesn’t matter how good a team is if you get outworked, a lot of times you’re going to lose.”
The Cardinals were still fighting and eventually cut the deficit back to two when Emler hit a fade-away jumper with 45 seconds left to make it 50-48.
However, the Warriors made two-of-four foul shots to close out the game as Columbus couldn’t get any 3s to fall in the final 30 seconds.
“Those are some of the shots that have been going in for us lately, but we’re bound to have a game where we’re off,” Schambow said.
The Cardinals travel to Randolph, the third-ranked team in Division 5 according to both the WisSports.net coaches poll and the Associated Press, on Monday night in hopes of getting back to their winning ways.
“It would be nice in terms of getting those good feels back and getting some of that confidence back,” Schambow said. “We know how good Randolph is. We still feel like we’re pretty good. I think it will be a pretty good game. It’s a close community to us and I think there’s going to be some friends going at friends.
“It will be a good ole fashioned street fight.”
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN 52, COLUMBUS 48</&hspag3>
Lakeside Lutheran 18 34 - 52
Columbus 22 24 - 48
LAKESIDE LUTHERAN (52) ― (fgm ftm-fta pts) Collin Schulz 2 0-0 4, Bryan Guzman 0 2-2 2, Matthew Davis 3 4-6 12, Ian Olszewski 4 1-1 9, Carter Schneider 8 2-3 21, Levi Birkholz 0 1-2 1, Seth Veers 0 3-4 3. Totals 17 13-18 52.
COLUMBUS (48) ― (fgm ftm-fta pts) Evan Anderson 1 0-0 2, Ryan Schulte 2 2-2 7, Alex Campbell 3 1-1 8, Will Cotter 1 0-0 2, Mason Cathew 1 1-2 3, Caden Brunell 2 1-2 7, Connor Schroeder 1 0-0 2, Ben Emler 7 2-2 17. Totals 18 7-9 48.
3-pointers: LL 5 (Matthew Davis 2, Carter Schneider 3), C 5 (Ryan Schulte 1, Alex Campbell 1, Caden Brunell 2, Ben Emler 1). Total fouls: LL 9, C 15. Fouled out: none.
Follow Mark McMullen on Twitter @mmcmull2 or contact him at 920-356-6754.
Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter
Sent weekly directly to your inbox!