NOBLESVILLE — Columbus North’s chances for success at Tuesday’s Noblesville Holiday Tournament took a big hit when Alex King took the bench early in the second quarter.
King, the Bull Dogs’ leading scorer, lit up Fishers with 13 points in the game’s first 11 minutes, as North built a 21-12 second-quarter lead. But he was sidelined with hip flexor and back injuries that kept him out of the rest of both games, and will likely sideline him for today’s game against Chesterton, according to North coach Paul Ferguson.
Without King, Fishers rallied, outscoring the Bull Dogs the rest of the way en route to a 57-49 victory in the tournament’s first game. North (5-4) also lost to Bloomington South, 51-44, in its second game Tuesday.
The Bull Dogs will play Chesterton (7-3) in today’s seventh-place game at 2 p.m. The Trojans lost to the host Millers 63-57 in overtime, then lost to Columbus East 71-62.
North kept both games close, but struggled to find a go-to scorer without King. He still led all Bull Dog scorers in the Fishers loss despite playing only 11 minutes, and no teammate scored more than 11 points in either game.
“Alex is a versatile scorer,” Ferguson said. “He’s an excellent shooter, he can post up, and when he doesn’t play, you see what can happen. We’re taking this as an opportunity for us to get better as a team and for other guys to expand their roles.”
In the first game, Fishers (4-3) built a 43-30 lead at the end of the third quarter, but North cut it to 53-47 with 47.8 seconds to go. The Bull Dogs couldn’t make it any more dramatic, as the Tigers’ Willie Jackson hit all four of his free-throw attempts in the game’s closing seconds.
Nathan Van Deventer (11 points) was North’s only other double-figure scorer against Fishers.
Against Bloomington South, the Panthers rallied from a 25-all tie late in the first half to build a 44-34 lead with six minutes remaining in the game. North whittled the lead to five on a couple of occasions in the game’s final two minutes, but couldn’t get any closer.
Trey Vincent led the Bull Dogs with 10 points in that loss, while Van Deventer added nine.
Ethan Mitchell, who spelled King in both games, added eight points and a team-best seven rebounds against Bloomington South. He contributed six points and six boards against Fishers.
“I was pleased with our effort against Bloomington South,” Ferguson said. “We competed hard; we just didn’t get enough shots to fall (16 of 34 from the field, including 2 of 11 from 3-point range).