COLUMBUS — All it took was one blow — nine straight points — delivered by New Glarus’ prep girls basketball team to open the game Tuesday night and Columbus was hurting the rest of the way.
And the Cardinals couldn’t overcome the pain.
The Glarner Knights led by 15 at halftime and stiff-armed the host Cardinals the entire second half, maintaining a double-digit advantage throughout en route to a 59-42 non-conference win. .
“We just came out and got hit in the face and didn’t recover,” Columbus coach Tim Dworak said. “They came out, socked us in the mouth, we were down 9-0, and we didn’t bounce back.
“We never got up. We kind of staggered the whole night.”
New Glarus (1-1), on the other hand, was steady as they come, bursting out of the gates and taking the 9-0 lead on Jaylynn Benson’s Euro step move to the basket with 3 minutes, 6 seconds gone by in the half.
And that was a move she would turn to often the rest of the way, keying her game-best 21-point effort — with 16 of those points coming before halftime.
“She lulled us to sleep a little bit,” Dworak said. “She would kind of just dribble the ball, dribble the ball and our defender would kind of get a little lackadaisical and then she’d just blow by us. She’s got a really quick first step, and then our help defense wasn’t there.”
Columbus (0-2) did finally get on the board on Ashley Olson’s putback with 4:20 gone by in the half, making it 9-2. And the Cards trimmed the deficit to single digits at 23-14 when Megan Boettcher snared an offensive rebound for a putback layup with 3:26 to go in the half.
But it was all downhill from there for a young Cards team that has more underclassmen (eight) than upperclassmen (six) on the roster.
“We’ve got a lot of learning to do,” said Dworak, whose squad didn’t have anyone score in double figures but did have seniors Boettcher and Taylor Zittel and junior Aurora Toutant pitch in with seven points apiece.
“The effort at the end of the game there with some of the girls that we had in was good. (And) some offensive rebounds in the first half after we had to talk to some girls on the bench — I thought they came back and responded real well.
“So if we can do that consistently, I think we’re going to have a nice climb with our team this year. But it wasn’t our best effort tonight, so we’ve got to improve on that.”
New Glarus 32 27 — 59
Columbus 17 25 — 42
New Glarus (59) — Brooke Watrud 2, Morgan Hustad 3, Emily Streiff 6, Lily Himmelmann 13, Shealyn Klosterman—Havens 2, Jaylynn Benson 21, Dylan Noll 5, Emma Marty 7. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 19 21-33 59.
Columbus (42) — Taylor Raley 2, Jordan Link 6, Ashley Olson 4, Megan Boettcher 7, Savannah Olson 1, Taylor Zittet 7, Alyssa Ekern 2, Aurora Toutant 7, Emma Paulson 6. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 14 9-25 42.
3-pointers: New Glarus 0, Columbus 5 (Emma Paulson 2, Taylor Zittel 1, Jordan Link 2). Total fouls: New Glarus 26, Columbus 25. Fouled out: New Glarus — Dylan Noll. Columbus — Taylor Zittel.
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