GREENWOOD — The Columbus North girls basketball team hadn’t been blowing the doors off of opponents early this season as they frequently had in recent years.
On Tuesday night, however, the Bull Dogs got rolling early and never looked back, using a dominating first half to pave the way to a 64-37 road win against Greenwood.
“It’s not like we’re the team that we’ve been — two, three years ago, we did that all the time,” North coach Pat McKee said. “So for this team to make a statement like that and to really step up and make a really good, strong play early … that says a lot for this team and hopefully the progress they’re making.”
North’s pressure defense clearly got to the Woodmen (6-5), who turned the ball over a dozen times in the opening quarter and 17 times before halftime. Jenna Borger scored off consecutive steals early in the game to get the Bull Dogs (5-2) on the board, and by the time Greenwood finally scored on two Leah Moore free throws with 35.8 seconds left in the quarter, North had ripped off 17 straight points to put itself comfortably in front.
Life got no easier for Greenwood in the second quarter. The Bull Dogs opened with a 3 from Borger to pull ahead 23-2, then capped the half with an Alexa McKinley bomb from long range to go into the locker room with a 37-6 cushion.
“We’ve been working on the press in practice lately,” Borger said. “I think we executed the press well tonight and got some good steals — and executed off of the steals, too.”
Even when the Woodmen were able to avoid turnovers, they couldn’t get shots to fall. Moore had the team’s lone first-half field goal, as a seemingly endless stream of layups and 3s alike rimmed out.
North maintained a lead of at least 30 for most of the second half before Greenwood got a little closer with a late burst.
Borger led the Bull Dogs with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Moore had 14 points and nine boards to pace Greenwood.