North defeats East Central

ST. LEON — Columbus North’s pressure defense and high-scoring first quarter at East Central helped the Bull Dogs extend their girls basketball winning streak to three games Thursday night with a 49-41 decision.

A 2-point bucket, followed by a 3-pointer, helped the Trojans start the game with a 5-0 lead before North scored 14 in a row to spark a 20-8 run to close the quarter. A 3-point shot by Liz Tynan, who scored 10 of her 12 points in first eight minutes, started the run for the Bull Dogs.

“It was just good to get off to a fast start like we did (in the previous game) against Greenwood and just to get the ball into the basket and get rolling,” Tynan said.

The Bull Dogs (6-2) scored eight points in the second and third quarters after posting 20 in the first period. Their defense helped keep the lead by forcing seven first-half turnovers and holding the Trojans (7-4) to just six points in the second quarter.

North led 28-19 at halftime.

“That’s always huge because when you force a turnover, usually you have an advantage situation — 3-on-2, 2-on-1,” North Coach Pat McKee said. “The odds of scoring there are much greater than a half-court set, so turnovers are huge. You want to force them, and you don’t want to make them.”

Brilan McCory and Alyssa Robben combined for 11 third quarter-points to help East Central outscore the Bull Dogs 13-8 to start the second half. North held a 36-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter and scored the first seven points of the final period to push the lead back to 11.

“I think it was important for us to keep our momentum as they were getting a little bit closer towards the end,” said Jenna Borger, who scored 11 points for the Bull Dogs. “When we started making more shots, our intensity continued.”

The Trojans had multiple looks from behind the arc down the stretch, but could not knock them down. Robben tried to rally East Central back in the game with a 3-point shot that closed the gap to eight, but the Trojans could not get any closer.

North closed the game by knocking down nine of their 12 free throws in the fourth quarter.

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.