BLOOMINGTON — The Columbus North bench had another solid performance against Bloomington South on Saturday.
The Bull Dogs’ bench accounted for 14 points and three steals in the 49-38 Conference Indiana win against the Panthers.
North took an early five-point lead by ending the first quarter on a 7-0 run before the Panthers scored the final bucket of the period with 10 seconds left. Nadia Lomax came off the bench and added a spark for the Bull Dogs in the second quarter, when she scored all six of her points.
“I think we definitely had a better encouragement factor going on,” Lomax said. “I know that helped me a lot. (The team) transferring that to me helped me bring it to everybody else also.”
Jenna Borger also played some important minutes off the bench and said the team played with more energy against Bloomington South than what it had been in the past few games. Borger forced a couple of steals and went after every loose ball in her sight while on the court.
North coach Pat Mckee said the five points Borger added were in key moments, including a 3-pointer she hit in the third quarter.
“Jenna brings a lot of energy,” McKee said. “She is a capable player on both ends, and hopefully we’ll keep getting a lift from her, whatever the situation requires.”
Imani Guy acted as the rim protector for the Bull Dogs (14-5, 5-1) the entire game, blocking five shots to go along with her six points, while Maliah Howard-Bass had a team-high 12 points.
The Panthers (8-9, 2-3) lost starter Marina Blackwell with just under four minutes left in the second quarter after injuring what looked to be her knee. Blackwell left the game with five early points and never returned. Senior Megan Johnson tried to will her team to a comeback victory by scoring six of her game-high 14 points in the final quarter.
Bloomington South came within seven points twice during the fourth quarter, but North managed to keep enough distance to close out the game.
“We did OK,” McKee said. “It wasn’t our absolute best game, but I thought our energy level and intensity level were always pretty good … We did more good than bad, but we just have to clean some things up.”