The Columbus Wildcats’ aggressive play and defensive pressure proved too much for the IMS girls as they lost 42-57 on their home court Friday night.
IMS Freshman Mia Graber struck first from inside but the Wildcats were quick to answer with a basket of their own. Taking the lead in the fourth minute they wouldn’t relinquish it the rest of the game. Tough defense on both sides kept scoring low and Columbus had the 13-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Columbus maintained their defensive focus on IMS’ leading scorer Suzanna Yoder. Despite their box-and-one Yoder still managed to score 10 points in the second quarter. In the final minute IMS hit a couple of big baskets to pull within five going into half time.
IMS Assistant Coach Liz Miller said, “We played a solid second quarter, getting some great transition points and locking down on defense in the last couple minutes. We had the opportunity to lead at half but just couldn’t knock down free throws when we needed to.”
Columbus stepped up their defensive effort in the second half, disrupting IMS’ offense and forcing early turnovers to extend their lead. The IMS offense came to life in the third minute to stop Columbus’ expanding lead. “Columbus is an aggressive team and we knew they weren’t going to make it easy for us. It took us a couple minutes to settle in but we ended up playing them even in the third quarter. In past games we’ve really struggled coming out of half time so it was great to see the girls respond the way they did.” Miller said.
The energy didn’t last as IMS struggled to find the basket in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Though IMS went on to outscore Columbus in the final four minutes it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Sophomore point guard Suzanna Yoder led IMS with career high 29 points, three assists, and six rebounds. Junior Rachel Miller added 10 points and three steals, while junior Avery Blauvelt recorded a career high 10 rebounds.
IMS is back in action today at Winfield Mount Union. Tipoff is set for 6 pm.