Columbus North boys fall to Patriots

Columbus North junior Jaylen Flemmons played in his first game of the season Friday night. It was against Terre Haute North.

Flemmons missed the first 10 games with a groin injury and lead the team with 15 points in his season debut. Senior Alex King also returned for Columbus North after sitting out two games with a minor back injury. King’s 13 points were not enough to stop the Bull Dogs’ losing streak as they lost 61-58.

“It’s great to see Jaylen back,” Columbus North coach Paul Ferguson said. “Nice to get that scoring punch out of him. He’s going to be a big part of the second half of our season.”

Columbus North (5-6) got off to a slow start going into halftime trailing 28-21 and was down by as many as 15 points in the third quarter. Terre Haute North’s Braelyne Compton and Jalen Owens caught fire from behind the arch hitting four threes in the third quarter. Compton ended with a game-high 19 points and Owens finished with 18, hitting a total of four 3-pointers.

“Owens and Compton just had too many wide-open looks from three,” Ferguson said. “They were the two key guys on our scouting report and it was don’t give them a three.”

King gave the Bull Dogs a spark in with six third quarter points after being scoreless in the first half. Columbus North ended the quarter on a 6-1 run cutting the lead to 10 going into the final period. The Bull Dogs came to life in the fourth and started the quarter on a 13-4 run to cut the lead to one.

Stephon Peters-Smith had a number of hustle plays and scored all of his six points in the fourth quarter. Columbus North had an opportunity to win the game being down 59-58 with 9.8 seconds left in the game. The team had no choice but to foul and the Patriots hit both free throws to go up by three points with just over five seconds left.

Terre Haute North coach Todd Woeffle decided to have the Patriots (10-3) foul immediately until there were less than two seconds left on the clock. The Bull Dogs still had one shot to tie the game, and they went with their leader scorer King. Columbus North inbounded the ball to King and he had just enough time for a turn around 3-pointer rolled off of the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

“I like the fight we had in the fourth quarter,” Ferguson said. “We didn’t give up. We competed hard and made some good plays down the stretch. Unfortunately, our defense wasn’t where it needed to be. We just gave up way too many point.”

The Bull Dogs have now lost five consecutive games as they drop to under .500 for the first time this season.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.