Highlanders' late 3-pointer seals game
Luke Gohmann hit a corner 3-pointer and Matthew Weimer stole the ball and made two free throws in the final seconds to help Floyd Central hold off visiting Columbus East 51-50 Friday. The Highlanders improved to 14-8, 4-3 in the Hoosier Hills Conference. The Olympians fell to 11-12, 4-3.
“We got the ball in the hands of our best passer, and he read the play perfectly and got it into the hands of our best shooter and he knocked it down,” said Floyd Central head coach Todd Sturgeon. “Then Matthew made a heck of a play stealing the ball from a great player to seal it for us.”
Parker Chitty scored seven of his 15 points in a 13-4 run for Columbus East to start the game. Zach Sanders hit one of his four 3-pointers during the run. The Highlanders scored eight of the last 10 points in the first period to cut the lead to 15-12 after eight minutes. Senior Connor Sturgeon, on Senior Night, scored four of his 14 points in that run that brought Floyd Central back into the game.
GALLERY: Floyd Central vs. Columbus East
The second period was all Highlanders. Kevin Williams scored from the side to push the visitors’ lead to five, but then Floyd Central went on a 14-2 run as they kept pounding the ball inside. Garrett Mehling, the only other senior on the Highlanders roster, scored all four of his points in that stretch.
One key part of the second period came when Chitty drew his second foul with 3:07 left in the first half and was pulled from the game. The Highlanders stretched a 23-19 lead to 29-21, but Sanders scored a crucial basket at the end of the half to cut the lead back to six.
Whatever momentum Floyd Central seized in the second period was retaken by Columbus East in the third. As he did at the beginning of the game, Chitty directed a run by the visitors early in the second half, scoring four points to cut the lead to 31-29. Gohmann hit the first of his two threes to give Floyd Central some breathing room at 36-31, but Sanders made two more for Columbus East to give the visitors a 41-40 lead at the end of three periods.
Kevin Williams scored twice inside for the Olympians to make it 45-40 early in the fourth. The Highlanders struggled on offense, not scoring the first 2:30 of the period.
With 4:12 left in the game, Tyler Kimm scored from the side to cut the lead to 47-44. Columbus East stopped attacking on offense and tried to hold the ball the rest of the way. Floyd Central got the ball back and with 2:45 Sturgeon scored inside to make it 47-46.
Again, the visitors played keep away on offense, but with one minute left the Highlanders found themselves in possession of the ball needing one bucket to win it. They missed three shots, but still maintained possession. With 20 seconds left they called time out. Out of the timeout they got the three by Gohmann with 11 seconds left for a two-point lead.
Chitty brought the ball up court for the Olympians, but Weimer stole the ball at halfcourt and was fouled intentionally. He made two free throws for a four-point lead, and Sanders’ fourth three from way out made it a one-point game at the buzzer.
Columbus East (11-12): Parker Chitty 15, Zach Sanders 14, Alex Galle 6, Kevin Williams 6, Tanner McFall 5, Chaz Painter 2, Max Nolting 2.
Floyd Central (14-8): Luke Gohmann 15, Connor Sturgeon 14, Tyler Kimm 6, Trevor Apple 5, Matthew Weimer 5, Garrett Mehling 4, Cobie Barnes 2.
3-point goals: Sanders 4, Chitty 1, Gohmann 2.