Columbus North put the pressure on early against Columbus East on Friday night, starting the game with an 11-0 run.
Zach Green started the game strong by scoring six points in the opening quarter to help the Bull Dogs to a 41-35 win against the Olympians.
North’s leading scorer, Alex King, got into early foul trouble and had to sit out most of the second quarter. Junior guard Trey Vincent helped fill the offensive void by hitting two first half 3-pointers on his way to a game high-tying 11 points.
“Alex is our guy, but when he goes down, other people have to step up,” Vincent said. “Coach (Paul Ferguson) told me to shoot the ball and be more aggressive, so I did.”
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Sophomore Mathew Frost played tough defense against King, drawing two big charges. King’s second foul, which sidelined him for the remainder of the first half, was from a charge call on Frost.
Frost helped bring East (1-3) within five points late in the fourth by scoring six of his 10 points in the final quarter. He also ended the game with three blocks and two steals.
“Mathew is a sophomore, but we need him to be a senior,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “He has a lot on his plate. I’m going to try and crack his shell and get him ready because I think he is going to be a really special player.”
Frost forced King into some early foul trouble, but King was not going to be deprived of scoring for too long. He scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, and his seven points in the third quarter helped push the Bull Dogs to a 30-18 lead going into the final period.
The Olympians’ late fourth quarter surge was fueled by senior Jonathan Foster, but his 10 points and 4-of-4 free-throw shooting in the final period was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Green finished with nine points, while Trenton Kelley grabbed six rebounds to lead the Bull Dogs (5-1) to a 32-27 advantage on the boards. Ethan Mitchell was a rim protector for North blocking three shots.
Frost and Chaz Painter each grabbed six rebounds for the Olympians.
“We knew we were going to jump on them early,” Ferguson said. “Just wish we would have put the game away sooner when we had the chance. It is good for our confidence moving forward to win a game like this.”