Perfection is hard to come by, but a 20-0 basketball record is as perfect as it gets.

The Northside eighth-grade girls basketball team achieved that. The Spartans capped off an undefeated season by winning the Tri-County Tournament earlier this month at Columbus East.

Northside beat Jennings County by 10 points in the championship game, but said its hardest opponent came in the game right before against Sunman-Dearborn Middle School.

The Spartans won that game by four points, which was the same margin by which they had beaten Jennings during the regular season.

“We had heard leading into it that they were pretty talented,” Northside coach Evan Burton said. “So we kind of geared up and focused on that game as kind of a way to judge ourselves. We were thinking that we had a good season up to that point.”

Burton said he knew before the season started that he had some talent coming in based on their seventh grade season a year prior. Their dedication to success showed early, and Burton said he could tell that many of them already had put in some good work playing together over the summer.

Most of the players have known each other since fourth grade and have been used to playing with each other for multiple seasons before they even reached eighth grade. That helped them understand what areas were strengths for different players in order to create good team chemistry.

“We built throughout the season, and we were pretty strong throughout the season,” Lily Kerber said. “It was really fun to play with everyone. We just became stronger and stronger, and we just pushed through.”

Burton applauded the team for sharing the ball and said any of them could have been leading scorers on any given night.

“As a team, they were always willing to make the extra pass or the needed play to make each other better,” Burton said.

At a glance

Northside eighth-grade girls basketball

Head coach: Evan Burton

Assistant coach: Brooke Ballard

Record: 20-0

Highlight: Won Tri-County Tournament championship

Author photo
Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5632.