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Olympian effort

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Connersville senior Gianna Struewing launches a 3-point attempt against visiting Columbus East on Friday night inside Spartan Bowl. Struewing and the Lady Spartans suffered a 58-43 loss to the Lady Olympians.
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Connersville’s Marley Smith (3) scores a lay-up past Columbus East’s Claire Cunningham inside Spartan Bowl on Friday evening. Smithscored a team-high 14 points in a 58-43 loss to the visiting Olympians.
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Connersville’s Paige Dunaway draws defensive pressure from Columbus East freshman Koryn Greiwe Friday at Spartan Bowl. Greiwe scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Lady Olympians to a win.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

The Connersville High School girls basketball season has been one of swings.

A three-game slide to open the season was followed by a three-game upswing ... which in turn was followed by another three-game snag.

Following those nine games was CHS’ best run of the 2018-19 campaign, a five-game win streak that concluded with a 50-23 win over Southwestern Hanover in the opening round of the Rumble on the River.

The final two games in that tournament, however, pointed the Lady Spartans once more in the wrong direction.

On Friday night, with the tournament behind them, Connersville played host to Columbus East, looking to put the brakes on that two-game slip.

Lady Olympian Koryn Greiwe had other ideas, however.

The freshman guard scored 26 points, leading her team to a 58-43 victory, extending CHS’ current streak to three games.

“I thought we were going to do a better job containing her,” Connersville head coach Michael Thompson said of Greiwe. For a freshman, we knew that she is an amazing player.

“She is terrific at penetrating with the ball, and that was something that we took away from her tonight. But there were times that we lost her (on the 3-point line) and that really frustrated me. I don’t know why we didn’t know where a player with her talent was at all times in the game. I would rather have had one of the other girls on that team beat us.”

Greiwe finished with four 3-pointers in the game, and added an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line to pace Columbus East.

Early in the game, it looked as if her heroics might fall short for the Olympians. 

“I though we got off to a great start,” Thompson said. “(Columbus East) came out in a very aggressive man-to-man defense, and in spite of that, we shot the ball really well. On the defensive end, we had a lot of energy and rebounded very well.”

Unfortunately for Thompson and his charges however, that shooting touch didn’t hold up.

“Things were going smooth I thought, and then we just hit a bit scoring drought,” Thompson pointed out. “We scored a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, and then didn’t score until just before halftime. We went several minutes without scoring, and East was able to make a run on us.

“That said, we were still trailing by only four (22-18) at the break.”

In the third quarter, the Spartans didn’t help their cause all that much, knocking down only three field goals.

“Coming out of the locker room, we were sluggish again on the offensive end, and things began to snowball a bit,” Thompson said. “I believe there was a 13-minute period through the second and third quarter in which we scored only 15 points.”

By the end of the third, CHS trailed by 10 (40-30). The deficit would grow as high as 17 in the final frame.

In spite of that, Thompson said his charges gave him all they had.

“The girls never quit in the game at all,” he said. “I just didn’t think we played well. A lot of times when you don’t shoot the ball well, you just don’t look good. 

“Some people may think I’m crazy but I truly feel like we are better than they are. I would love to have this game back, playing the way that we started.”

Marley Smith and Paige Dunaway led Connersville in the scoring column, finishing with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

In the junior varsity game, Connersville trailed by three after one quarter, and by two at the break, keeping the game within reach until a fourth-quarter push by the visitors put the contest away.

Columbus East had nine players stencil their name into the scoring column, led by Julia Sitterding with eight.

The Spartan reserves were paced by Maranda Cranfill, who led all scorers with 17 points.

Connersville travels to Richmond on Tuesday, before facing Franklin County at home on Friday and Guerin Catholic on the road Saturday.

“We’ve got this bad trend again where we have lost three in a row,” Thompson said. “Next week, we have three games, and those games are winnable, so we need to focus on winning those games.”



(at Spartan Bowl)

Columbus East 7 22 40 58

Connersville 12 18 30 43

Columbus East (8-7) — Koryn Greiwe 7 8-8 26, Albany Speer 0 0-0 0, Claire Cunningham 1 6-8 8, Whitley Rankin 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Dougherty 3 0-0 8, Gretchen Comer 2 0-0 5, Sarah Park 1 0-0 2, Olivia Linneman 1 3-4 5, Beyonce Coleman-Turner 2 0-0 4, Megan Vetter 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 17-20 58.

Connersville (8-9) — Gianna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Giovanna Struewing 0 0-0 0, Marley Smith 4 4-9 14, Lauren Thompson 1 0-0 3, Paige Dunaway 4 1-2 12, Tylissa Beckner 0 0-0 0, Elise Bottomley 3 0-0 6, Jessica Beckman 3 2-4 8, Maranda Cranfill 0 0-0 0, Sammi Potters 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 15 7-15 43.

3-pointers — Columbus East 7 (Greiwe 4, Dougherty 2, Comer 1), Connersville 6 (Dunaway 3, Smith 2, Thompson 1). Fouled out — Connersville 1 (Bottomley). Total fouls — Columbus East 15 (Greiwe 4, Cunningham 4, Linneman 2, Vetter 2, Dougherty, Park, Coleman-Turner), Connersville 17 (Bottomley 5, Smith 4, Dunaway 4, Beckman 2, Gio. Struewing, Potters).


Lady Olympians 42, Lady Spartans 26

Columbus East 7 15 29 42

Connersville 4 13 22 26

Columbus East — Julia Sitterding 3 0-1 8, Lexia Wilcox 1 1-3 4, Peyton Meier 2 0-0 4, Harley Gant 1 0-0 2, Kaitlyn Carothers 0 0-0 0, Jordan Sims 2 0-0 4, Abby Woodruff 3 0-0 7, Gretchen Comer 1 1-2 4, Rebecca Belt 2 0-0 5, Tikira Brown 2 0-2 4. TOTALS 15 2-8 42.

Connersville — Kara Schneider 0 0-0 0, Brianna Thomas 1 0-0 2, Ryonna Payton 1 0-0 2, Baylee Schneider 0 0-0 0, Tylissa Beckner 1 0-2 2, Grace Usher 0 0-0 0, Chyann Young 0 0-0 0, Abby Badore 0 0-0 0, Brittney Bottomley 0 1-2 1, Hannah Sizemore 1 0-0 2, Cheryl Garrison 0 0-0 0, Maranda Cranfill 7 3-4 17. TOTALS 11 4-8 26.

3-pointers — Columbus East 5 (Sitterding 2, Wilcox, Woodruff, Comer).