SEYMOUR — Giving up just 12 combined points in the second and third quarters, Columbus North’s stout defense led to offense Tuesday night.
The Bull Dogs used their length advantage and roster depth to stifle Seymour for a 56-39 victory.
North’s Trey Vincent hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession, but the Owls (8-13) answered with an 8-0 run, led by 3-pointers from Alan Perry and Tyler Bloom. Bloom and the Bull Dogs’ Alex King exchanged 3s before North (15-7) finished the final 2:25 of the first quarter with an 8-2 run to lead 14-13.
The Bull Dogs dialed in on defense in the second quarter, allowing just seven points, while the bench took on the scoring load. North strung together 10 unanswered points, led by four from Ethan Mitchell, to go up 24-14 by the 2:46 mark before halftime.
A trey from Bloom ended the scoring string, and Perry added another 3 with four ticks on the clock, but the Owls trailed 28-20 at intermission, with just seven points before the break.
“I thought we did a good job of being active defensively and getting our hands on a lot of balls,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “Especially after the first quarter, we did a great job of blocking out and rebounding. That led to some easy points in transition.”
Mitchell, Trenton Kelley, Bailey Hester and Zach Green accounted for 11 of the Bull Dogs’ 14 second-quarter points coming off the bench.
Nathan VanDeventer, who went scoreless in the first half, went on a self-made 7-0 run to open the third quarter and bolster the Bull Dogs’ lead to 35-20 with 5:32 left in the period. Alex Hofer stopped Seymour’s bleeding, and Tiller Cummings added a shot from behind the arc, but the Owls wouldn’t score again in the final 3:16 of the third and trailed 46-25.
“They switched from a zone to a man (defense), and their length gave us problems,” Seymour assistant coach Jeff Nicholson said. “We found Tyler Bloom early. He was getting open looks; then they switched. We didn’t execute great, but that was pretty much the difference.”
In the final eight minutes, the deficit proved too much, but the Owls continued to fight. Seymour outscored North 14-10 in the fourth quarter, with six from Jordan Miller.
King topped the Bull Dogs with 11 points and VanDeventer added 10. Nine different North players scored.
“We had great production from our bench tonight,” Ferguson said. “I thought those guys gave us good minutes, ran our offense well and kept defensive intensity.”
Bloom led the Owls with nine points, while Perry and Cummings each chipped in with eight. On the boards, the North outrebounded Seymour 27-16.
“We just need to keep getting better,” Ferguson said. “We need to be prepared for our sectional next week.”