Friday night’s boys basketball contest began like it would be a blowout of epic proportions for Columbus North.
In the end, the Bull Dogs needed a comeback just to get the game to overtime.
In that overtime, North went back to the things it did well to start the evening. The Bull Dogs scored the first five points of the extra period and went on to post a 73-67 win against Shelbyville.
North (3-0) likely wasn’t thinking about overtime when it opened the game with a 14-0 run. The Golden Bears (2-1) missed their first 14 shots before John Lux drove for a layup just before the first quarter buzzer.
That layup started an 18-2 Shelbville run that gave it an 18-16 lead with 1:56 left in the first quarter. The Golden Bears built the lead to 24-19, but the Bull Dogs’ Trenton Kelley scored the final four points of the first half, and North netted the first five of the second half to regain the lead at 28-24.
Shelbyville regained the lead at 45-40 in the final minute of the third quarter. The Bull Dogs came back to grab a 48-46 advantage on a 3-pointer by Nathan VanDeventer with 5:44 remaining, but the Golden Bears went back on top 55-50 with 1:59 left.
North got back within one twice, and then after Shelbyville made one of two free throws with 15 seconds remaining, Zach Green drove for a layup with 10 seconds left to tie the game at 58-58 and send it to overtime.
“We struggled in the first half with turnovers, but we were smarter with the ball in the second half against their pressure,” Green said. “We drove in more for some easy baskets later in the game.”
Alex King began the overtime with a pair of free throws, and Green followed with a three-point play for a 63-58 lead. Three free throws brought the Golden Bears back to within two, but King hit a pair of free throws, and Green made one to push the lead back to five, and Shelbyville couldn’t get closer than three the rest of the way.
King, who managed only five points through the first three quarters, finished with game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds. He went 15 of 19 from the free-throw line.
“It took me a little bit to get in my rhythm,” King said. “The free-throw line definitely helped, and that’s something that we work on every day at the end of practice. That’s why I’m knocking down those shots.”
Green finished with a career-high 16 points for the Bull Dogs. Kelley added 11 points and three steals, and VanDeventer had 10 points and five assists.
North avenged a pair of losses to Shelbyville last season, including one in the sectional semifinals. The Bull Dogs, who host Martinsville tonight, started 1-7 last season.
“We’re a lot better team, and it feels awesome,” King said.