PORT CLINTON - Derek Dryfuse and his Columbian teammates gave coach Bill Beaston an early Christmas gift Monday night.
Two days after struggling offensively in a loss to Fremont Ross, Columbian dominated Port Clinton up front, shot better than 50 percent from the floor, and won 53-36.
In control of it all was Dryfuse, who scored 19 points and had a game-high 14 rebounds.
"Our biggest key to this game was playing solid on defense," Dryfuse said. "Not letting them do what they want to do, being better than our man. Our offense, that just came off of defense a little bit."
After the two team started the game tied at four, the Tornadoes went on a 13-0 run and pretty much controlled the game from there. They led 12-4 after the first quarter, and 26-12 at halftime.
"We did a nice job getting the ball inside to (Dryfuse)," Beaston said. "I thought we did a pretty good job getting the ball to Cody [Daniel] and Isiah [Moore], too, when they were isolated inside. There's no secret. It needs to be a big part of our game."
Daniel finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, while Moore added five points. Overall, TC out-rebounded Port Clinton 35-24.
"Their defense was pretty sound tonight," said Port Clinton coach Troy Diels, whose team fell to 3-4. "They wanted to extend pressure early, and that got them some turnovers. I thought Bill had his team ready to play, and they came in and established themselves early and just kind of carried it over from there."
While Columbian was strong up front, the Redskins were never able to establish anything inside. Eighteen of their 45 shot attempts were 3-point attempts. Of those 18, the Redskins made only three.
"Our looks weren't terrible tonight," Diels said. "I think we forced a couple, but I think a lot came out of what we were trying to do."
Dryfuse said TC wanted to force the Port Clinton offense outside.
"That's what we wanted to do," he said. "It's a lot harder to make a 3 than it is a paint shot, so keep them out of the paint and make them take deep shots."
Columbian was able to score in the paint. It got 11 points from Josh Flint, more than a few of them coming on layups.
Nathan Stubblefield was the Redskins leading scorer with seven points.
Columbian, which improved to 3-1, will be off until the weekend, when it goes on the road for back-to-back Northern Ohio League games.
The Tornadoes will travel Friday to Willard, then Saturday to Norwalk.
"It's a tough weekend, our guys are up to the challenge," Beaston said. "Willard is a difficult place to play. They have a new coach, but he's been there for a long time and does a really nice job with the kids; they're playing very hard. We've got our work cut out for us."