OAK HARBOR - Columbian coach Katie Fazekas said her team was outworked Tuesday night in a 52-29 loss at Oak Harbor.
The Rockets used a 17-8 burst in the first quarter to distance themselves from the Tornadoes, then pulled away from there, winning every quarter and improving to 11-7 on the season.
To Fazekas, it came down to hustle.
"We gave them too many second chances," Fazekas said after her team fell to 6-13. "We call them 50-50 balls - loose balls -and tonight, they got all the 50-50 balls. We just got outworked for them."
Oak Harbor was led by Maria Boers, who had 16 points, Andrea Cecil, who had 15 points, and Abbie Gezo, who had 14 points.
Oak Harbor coach Tom Kontak said his team started well, which is something the Rockets have struggled with.
"Quite honestly, with this group it's been something we've had to really work on," Kontak said, "because it's been just the opposite in many of our games leading up to tonight."
Cecil, a freshman, was particularly impressive for the Rockets.
"Jocelyn does a really nice job; we always like to see her put the ball in the basket for us," Kontak said. "Then you have to look at the seniors. Makayla Carpenter and Maria Boers and Abbie Gezo. Makayla Carpenter is our quarterback, and she's the straw that stirs the drink."
Columbian's leading scorer, Jocelyn Cole, hit three first half 3s and had 11 points at the break. But she was held scoreless in the second half as TC's offense struggled.
"When other people aren't an offensive threat, it's easy for other teams to focus on her," Fazekas said. "Haftime speech [for Oak Harbor] had to be, 'stop Cole.' They did, and tonight nobody else stepped up."
Valesha Province had nine points for the Tornadoes, who shot 10 for 34 from the floor.
"We've got to go to work; we're not done," Fazekas said. "The season's not over; we've got to go back to the drawing board."
As for Oak Harbor, Kontak was asked if his squad is peaking at the right time.
"We hope so," Kontak said. "We looked at the schedule, we knew it was way front-loaded with all the tough league games and then Bellevue as well on the road. Now, hopefully, we can keep playing and keep the momentum going."