Bull Dogs win first game of North invite

Columbus North opened its girls basketball invitational Thursday with a convincing win against Beech Grove.

The Bull Dogs forced seven turnovers in the eight minutes on their way to beating the Hornets 57-33. Tessa Lomax led North with 13 points and six rebounds despite having some early foul trouble.

“I played with a lot of confidence,” Lomax said. “There were a few plays where I could have done some things to prevent what happened, but overall I thought I did pretty good.”

North (11-2) opened the game with a 22-point first quarter that started on a 7-0 run, while limiting Beech Grove to just nine points. Jenna Borger scored eight of her 12 points in the opening period to help the Bull Dogs end the half with a 33-19 lead.

North had a couple of players who picked up some early fouls and were forced to sit, but Nadia Lomax played some solid minutes off the bench to make up for it. She finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

“Nadia was really big early,” North coach Pat Mckee said. “We got into some foul trouble, and she gave us a big, long run with some very effective play.”

The North defense held Beech Grove (9-3) to just six field goals for the entire second half and continued to push the lead in the third quarter. North held Beech Grove to another nine-point third quarter to extend the lead to 19 before allowing just five points in the final period. The Bull Dogs never trailed and made the most of their free-throw opportunities, hitting 14 of 18.

“I think we played decent,” Borger said. “I definitely think that wasn’t quite the level that we could play at, and I know that we can play better.”

North will have a much tougher opponent in the second round against Class 3A No. 1-ranked Northwestern at 11:45 a.m. today. McKee said there are a few things the Bull Dogs will have to clean up if they want to knock off Northwestern.

“It’s got to be better,” McKee said. “If we play at that level, that’s not going to do it. We have to play better. We’re capable of it. If we take the good parts of today and clean up some of the mistakes, hopefully we’ll give them a good game. They are a really good team.”

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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.