By Zach Baker
CLYDE - Katie Fazekas' first game as Columbian girls' basketball coach came against one of the top teams in the region and a player being recruited by Division I college programs.
There certainly are easier ways to start.
Behind Amanda Cahill's 21 points and 11 rebounds, and five 3-pointers from Lexi Weber, the Fliers won handily, topping the Tornadoes, 71-23.
Columbian trailed 17-7 after one quarter and 40-14 at the break.
"(Clyde) reads passing lanes well, they're aggressive on the boards," Fazekas said. "Their defense definitely can produce some offense for them. They're a nice team across the board."
Columbian was led on offense by Valesha Province, who had seven first-half points to go along with a team-best nine rebounds. She also had four assists.
"Valesha's a tenacious kid, she competes," Fazekas said. "Up or down, she'll compete 'til the end. If we can get that kind of passion going through the whole team, that'd be a definite plus."
It wasn't a perfect game by Clyde, as it turned the ball over 23 times. Coach John Cahill attributed some of that to "first-game jitters."
"I felt like we turned it over a little too much early," the coach said. "I'm not unhappy with the way we played. I've continued to say we're not gonna be a perfect product for a while, probably never. I think we're gonna be a lot better in January, February than we are today."
As for Amanda Cahill, she made eight baskets, including one 3-pointer, all while being a force on the glass.
"I think we're all a pretty well-rounded team," she said. "Anybody can dribble, anybody can shoot. I was happy how everyone did, and hopefully we can keep it going."
Weber hit four 3-pointers in the first half alone. She and Cahill were the only Fliers to score in double digits, but every Clyde player that got in scored at least two points.
"We've had good balance for the last two years, and I think we will again this year,"Coach Cahill said. "We've got multiple kids who can score."
Megan Moore had seven points for the Tornadoes. Columbian will be back in action in Clyde today against Lakota in the consolation game of the Clyde Turkey Shootout. Mohawk, which beat Lakota in Friday night's first game, will play Clyde.
Columbian's game starts at 6 p.m.