According to the Sagarin ratings, Columbus North was just a slight underdog heading into Saturday’s boys basketball matchup against Martinsville.
The Bull Dogs proved the rating to be totally wrong.
North went on a huge 18-3 scoring run in the second quarter that put away the game by halftime. The Bull Dogs went on to rout the Artesians 83-48.
North was led by Nathan VanDeventer, who scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the first half.
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“We knew this was a big game for us going in,” VanDeventer said. “We came out and got off to a hot start, and we rolled in the first half. The great thing about this win is that we have depth all the way down. Everyone came in and contributed.”
The Bull Dogs (4-0) hit four 3-point baskets in the first quarter and opened the margin 17-5. They scored the first six points of the second quarter. After both teams traded a few baskets, North sealed the game with its big run.
The Bull Dogs’ defense shut down the Artesians by forcing a lot of turnovers that led to points and made a lot of steals for easy layins at the other end, as well. North recorded 10 steals for the game.
“We were more long and athletic and thought we could put some pressure on them and turn them over. We out rebounded them, and our length was a big factor there,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We got a lot of our offense out of our defense tonight.”
Alex King had a strong performance with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Peyton Russell sank four 3-pointers en route to a career-high 12 points. Zach Green added 11 points, two rebounds and two assists.
“I’m really excited for Peyton Russell, who has been a great team player for us all year,” Ferguson said. “He does a lot of the little things that say a lot about his character and attitude. He is an excellent shooter, and he got a chance to show that tonight.”
VanDeventer agreed with Ferguson about his senior teammate.
“He is a great guy to have around,” VanDeventer said. “It does not show up in the stat book, but he comes out at every practice and works hard. He really is a team player, and we are happy for him to get the opportunity.”
The win gave North back-to-back victories after winning in overtime Friday night against Shelbyville. But the Bull Dogs now face a tough Conference Indiana challenge against Franklin Central.
“It was a big weekend for us, but now we have to bounce back this week and have a great week of practice,” Ferguson said.