INDIANAPOLIS — The Columbus North coaching staff huddled in the hallway outside of the locker room for about three minutes during halftime deciding on how to make adjustments on the road against Conference Indiana foe Franklin Central.
The Flashes played zone for much of the game, which is something the Bull Dogs were not used to. They struggled to score points in the first two quarters, but the second half adjustments helped North get the 54-39 victory.
“We changed offenses and even personnel,” North coach Pat McKee said. “(Assistant coach) Ron (Patberg) in particular, who kind of oversees our offense, if I had to single one coach out. It was his idea, but it was a consensus.”
The score was tied at 13 after the first 16 minutes, and the North coaching staff decided to run an offense the team hadn’t practiced all season. The adjustments helped the Bull Dogs start the second half on a 7-0 run, and they ended the third quarter with a 32-27 lead.
Kenzie Patberg scored six of her game-high 11 points in the third quarter. McKee was impressed with the amount of focus and attention his players had in order to change offenses on the fly the way they did.
“They really listened, and then they went out and executed, which sometimes, those are skills that are hard to come by,” McKee said. “This time, they really listened and went out and executed something from basically drawing it on a board in there.”
The attention to detail in areas like free-throw shooting also played a major role in the victory. North (3-1, 2-0) hit 18 of 19 free throws, with Annie Anderson going 7 of 8 from the line in the fourth quarter to help close out the game. Anderson scored all nine of her points in the final eight minutes.
“In practice, we work on (free throws) a lot,” Anderson said. “It really came down to them at the end of the game, and I’m proud of our team for it.”
Nadia Lomax knocked down all four of her free throws in the third quarter on her way to scoring eight points for the Bull Dogs. Sierra Norman played some important minutes off the bench and provided six points on two 3-pointers. Tessa Lomax also helped lead the bench scoring with six points.
Sammi Wessel tried to keep Franklin Central (1-4, 0-1) in the game by scoring eight of her 11 points in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough.