Five of Columbus North’s six seniors had a chance to start and play the entire first quarter on senior night Tuesday, and they didn’t disappoint.
The seniors played right with Seymour and trailed only 11-10 after the first quarter was over. From there, the Bull Dogs went on to claim a 61-53 victory.
“I thought having five seniors start, it was really emotional, and we were all into the game, so that was really exciting,” Bailey Hester said. “We had a couple sloppy possessions, but we didn’t let them get back into it.”
Hester finished with a game-high 16 points, and fellow senior Trey Vincent added 13. They were joined in the lineup by Ross Gill, Matt Boldrey and Drew Wilson.
The other senior, Jaylen Flemmons, who normally starts, came off the bench and led North (13-9) with 10 rebounds.
“Our seniors started out playing very hard,” Vincent said. “We knew it was our last time, and then the guys who came in after us played their part, too. There’s nothing more I could have wished more than to come out with a win.”
The first half featured 11 lead changes and ended with the Bull Dogs leading 26-23. Neither team led by more than that three-point margin in the first half.
The Owls (11-10) took a 31-30 lead with 4:29 left in the third quarter. But then Blake Barker hit a 3-pointer and Vincent converted a 3-point play to spark a 14-0 North run to end the period.
Seymour’s Ty McCory, who hit four 3-pointers in the first half, was held to one 2-point basket in the second half.
“We picked up the defensive intensity, and we didn’t let No. 11 (McCory) knock down any more 3s,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We knew he was a good shooter coming in, and he got some off on us, but we locked him down the second half and picked up our defensive intensity.”
Junior Trenton Kelley added 11 points for the Bull Dogs, who will close the regular season Thursday at home against Center Grove.
“We’re proud of these guys, and we’re glad to see them get a win on senior night. We’re just kind of building our momentum as we head toward sectional.