Columbus North had a six-point lead at home with less than five minutes left against Terre Haute North Friday night before the Patriots closed the game on a 17-4 run to steal the Conference Indiana win.
The Bull Dogs scored out of a Patriots timeout with 5:33 left to push the lead to six, but Terre Haute North took a one-point lead after a 7-0 run on their way to beating Columbus North 57-50.
The Bull Dogs had only trailed for a few seconds during the second half up to that point.
“We just had a really poor fourth quarter,” Columbus North coach Paul Ferguson said. “… We didn’t get back in transition, gave them a 3, turned the ball over twice and all of a sudden a four-point lead turned into a three-point lead for them. It was a disappointing loss for our guys.”
Neither team could get any separation in the first three quarters, and the Bull Dogs (5-6, 1-2) scored on three buzzer-beaters to help build their four-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Jaylen Flemmons never left the floor, playing all 32 minutes and gave Columbus North 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
“We did some good things. I thought Jaylen Flemmons had a great game for us tonight,” Ferguson said. “It was the fourth quarter that killed us. I felt like early in the game it was one of those games where we had a chance to break it open a few times, and we just didn’t do it.”
A silver lining for the Bull Dogs was senior Trenton Kelley making his season debut after injuring his spleen during football season. He was greeted by cheers from the fans when he stepped on the court late in the first quarter and immediately recorded a blocked shot. Kelley played just under 11 minutes.
“It was great to see Trenton Kelley on the court,” Ferguson said. “I thought he gave us some good minutes. He had a big bucket for us, and I think he’ll get better and better as he gets his basketball legs under him.”
Both Blake Barker and Bailey Hester scored 11 points for the Bull Dogs. Tate Cooper led the Patriots (7-6, 1-1) with 17.