Scotus Central Catholic girls basketball managed just 11 points in the first half then went scoreless in the third and saw an already lopsided score turn into a blowout during a 59-21 loss to Class C-1 No. 1 Hastings St. Cecilia on Thursday night.
Last year's state champs showed they'll be another force to be reckoned with in a game that saw St. Cecilia have three players in double figures and knock down eight 3-pointers as a team.
The Hawkettes shot 52 percent for the game and hit on 8 of 16 shots from distance while taking leads of 11-5 after the first and 33-11 at halftime.
Scotus' leading scorer was Camille Pelan at just six points. She was held without points until hitting two 3s in the fourth quarter. Amber Buhman had five, Kamryn Chohon four and Clarissa Kosch, Grace Mustard and Haley Steffensmeier all had two.
"It was 11-5 after one, then they made four straight 3s to start the second quarter," coach Jarrod Ridder said. "We missed some easy shots early in the first quarter, missed a lot that we can make throughout the game, but they're really long and aggressive defensively. Those two things bothered us offensively."
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Scoring was an issue for Scotus last year, as well. The Shamrocks scored fewer than 30 points six times last season then graduated three seniors, including its starting point guard.
Scotus also failed to earn any trips to the free throw line and posted its lowest total since a 54-21 loss to Wahoo Neumann three seasons ago. While that's certainly a concerning figure, Ridder said Thursday was more about St. Cecilia, its quality and the fact it returns three starters.
"They play such a good job of playing fast with pace, spreading out, finding shooters. A lot of credit goes to them," he said. "We have to continue to come to practice with a great attitude and effort, and I like where this team will end up."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.