Bull Dogs prevail against Falcons

INDIANAPOLIS — Columbus North senior guard Zach Green had an inkling it might be a good night.

“The rims felt good in warm-ups,” Green said. “I knew the shots were going to fall during the game. They didn’t pressure very well. My man stayed off me, so I shot whenever I was open.”

Green scored a season-high 20 points, including four 3-pointers, to help the Bull Dogs to a 66-60 Conference Indiana victory against host Perry Meridian Saturday night. Green sank 7-of-10 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

“Zach had a monster game for us,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “He shot the ball really well. In the second half, he finished a lot of really tough drives to the basket and helped handle some pressure.”

Green scored 14 of his points by intermission.

“On their zones, they didn’t pressure very well,” Green said. “We got some open shots early and we did a good job of knocking them down.”

The Bull Dogs (8-6, 1-3) led 17-11 after the first quarter and expanded that as many as 17 (28-11) in the second quarter, before settling for a 33-22 halftime lead.

“We had a great start. They were showing us a lot of zone and funky defenses and we just came out and knock down a bunch of 3s to start the game,” said Ferguson, whose team hit all seven of its 3-pointers in the first half.

The Falcons (4-9, 1-3) narrowed the deficit to 46-40 after three quarters. They closed the gap to four points twice during the third quarter.

North senior forward Alex King hit 5 of 6 from the free throw line, including all four in the final 75 seconds to help the Bull Dogs maintain a cushion. King, who was limited with four fouls, finished with 12 points.

“Alex battled foul trouble all game, but I love the way he kept his composure and iced that game down with a bunch of free throws,” Ferguson said.

Stephon Peters-Smith contributed 10 points off the bench for North.

“Both of our bigs, Stephon and Ethan (Mitchell), did a tremendous job on their best player, Nate Mills,” Ferguson said. “Nate is a handful down on the block. They made him work for all of his buckets, so I was really pleased with both Stephon and Ethan. It was our two-headed monster.”

The Bull Dogs outrebounded the Falcons 30-22. King and Jaylen Flemmons each had six rebounds, and Mitchell added five.

“We’ve been struggling on the road and it’s good to get a big conference win,” Green said.