Columbus North junior Kelsey Patberg told Imani Guy prior to Saturday’s game with Terre Haute South that since it was Guy’s 18th birthday, she had to score 18 points.
Guy actually did two better. She poured in a career-high 20 points and had a game-high nine rebounds to lead the Class 4A No. 10 Bull Dogs to a 76-28 rout of Terre Haute North on Alumni Day.
The 6-foot-4 senior, who had an 8-inch height advantage on the Patriots’ tallest players, was able to stay on the floor by staying out of foul trouble. Guy, who has often been plagued by foul trouble this season, went 8 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.
Columbus North coach Pat McKee joked that he’d bring a cupcake with a candle to every game if he knew it would help her play like that.
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“I was trying to stay out there longer and be a factor for the team and not just sit on the bench,” Guy said.
Guy’s basket 10 seconds into the contest sparked a 12-0 game-opening run for the Bull Dogs (8-3, 3-0). They led 22-3 and 32-5 and were ahead 36-7 with three minutes left in the first half.
Columbus North continued the onslaught in the second half. The Bull Dogs outscored Terre Haute North (6-7, 1-2) 25-9 in the third quarter and built the lead to 69-20 early in the fourth before McKee pulled his starters.
Columbus North led by as many as 50 with 3:13 remaining.
“We need to bring the energy no matter who the opponent and what the score is,” McKee said. “We’ve had some times in the past where maybe we get up, and then we just ease off the gas, and before you know it, the game is closer than it should be. Today, I think we did a pretty good job of keeping going and keeping the attack on.”
The Patriots, who were missing their starting point guard because of a concussion, committed seven turnovers in the first quarter and 10 for the game.
McKee said he was going to pressure Terre Haute North anyway, but with their point guard out, it converted into a lot more opportunities for turnovers and easy baskets. The Bull Dogs shot 54.4 percent (31 for 57) from the field.
Ashlyn Huffman and Maliah Howard-Bass each scored 12 points for Columbus North. Liz Tynan added a career-high 10 points and five rebounds, and Jahna Smiley contributed a career-high seven points.
“I think that for a change, we came out and played hard,” Tynan said. “We’ve been kind of in a slump, and I think we played great team ball today.”