An upset loss at Seymour last season gave Columbus North plenty of motivation Tuesday night.
The Bull Dogs led from start to finish in avenging last year’s setback with a 68-48 girls basketball victory.
“In practice, we talked about how we went down to Seymour last year and got beat, so we really wanted to work hard and make sure that didn’t happen this year,” said senior Jenna Borger, who scored a game-high 21 points. “We didn’t play very well against them last year, so it was really good for us to be able to come out and play a solid game against them.”
North (7-2) jumped out to an early 15-5 lead. The Owls (6-5) came back to within 17-11 at the end of the first quarter, but the Bull Dogs began the second period with an 11-2 run and built the margin to 34-17 at halftime on a last-second 3-pointer by Kenzie Patberg.
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Seymour scored the first four points of the second half, leading North coach Pat McKee to call a timeout. The Bull Dogs responded by scoring eight in a row, with half of those coming from Annie Anderson, to open a 42-21 advantage.
“We were a little slow coming out at halftime, but our coaches told us to be aggressive and that we were better than what we were playing,” Borger said. “So we came out with more energy after that timeout.”
A last-second 3-pointer by Sierra Norman gave North a 54-31 lead after three quarters. The Owls came as close as 16 in the fourth quarter before the Bull Dogs scored the game’s final six points.
North committed only 11 turnovers, while forcing 17.
“It wasn’t perfect,” McKee said. “There’s always things to clean up, but overall, it was a pretty good game, start to finish, and that’s what we need. We need to get that kind of consistency.”
Anderson finished with 13 points. Norman and Patberg each added eight.
Tessa Lomax grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Bull Dogs to a 27-22 advantage on the boards.
“I thought we brought a lot of intensity, and I thought we were ready for it, and we’re going to stay focused,” Anderson said. “We’re coming off a good win, and we’re pretty confident. (Columbus) East is a quality opponent, and I think that it will be a good game.”
North will host the 7-1 Olympians on Thursday. The Bull Dogs have beaten East 11 consecutive times, but won only 43-41 in last year’s sectional final.
“East will be a good game for us,” Borger said. “They have all their starters back. We played well tonight, so hopefully, that will carry over to Thursday.”