Bull Dogs, Olympians to meet for spot in title game

Columbus North avenged one of its regular-season losses Tuesday night when it beat Shelbyville in the opening round of the Columbus East Sectional.

To reach the sectional final, the Bull Dogs will have to avenge another defeat. They’ll face the host Olympians, who beat North 44-37 on Dec. 15 at East, in tonight’s sectional semifinals.

“We played so long ago, both teams have changed, so we’ve both made lots of adjustments,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “The thing we always talk about is to try to play four quarters and play as hard as we can and put all four quarters together. Hopefully, we’ll have a good night.”

The Olympians (12-10) and Bull Dogs (14-10) will meet in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. East Central (14-9) will face Class 4A No. 5 Bloomington South (24-2) in the nightcap. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Both East and North played solid basketball down the stretch. The Olympians had won four in a row and seven of nine before falling at Martinsville and at 4A No. 4 Floyd Central to close the regular season.

East will be playing for the first time in nine days.

“East is playing really well,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “I think one advantage we have is having played Tuesday night and had the chance to get our feet wet in the sectional.”

The Bull Dogs knocked off Shelbyville 81-69 Tuesday. That avenged a 64-47 loss to the Golden Bears the third game of the season.

North did not have starters Trey Vincent and Trenton Kelley, who still were recovering from injuries, in that first Shelbyville game. Vincent returned, but Kelley had not, for the first game against the Olympians.

“I think they’re really playing well offensively and defensively,” Chitty said. “I wasn’t surprised (that North beat Shelbyville). I thought they played Bloomington South pretty tough, too.”

The Panthers would be the likely opponent for the East-North winner. Bloomington South won 61-45 Jan. 16 at East and 46-44 Feb. 9 at North.

The Bull Dogs, who have won three of four since that defeat, have a quote in their locker room that reads, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.” That quote from Harry Truman is posted on a sign, and the players slap it when they leave the locker room to run out onto the court at home games.

“I think the big thing for us is to continue to have the mindset,” Ferguson said. “Our guys have embraced that, and we need to continue to have that mindset when we go out on the court (tonight).”

If you go

Columbus East boys basketball sectional


6 p.m.: Columbus East (12-10) vs. Columbus North (14-10)

7:30 p.m.: East Central (14-9) vs. Bloomington South (24-2)


7 p.m.: Championship

At a glance

Probable starters and key reserves for tonight’s Columbus East-Columbus North matchup:

Columbus East

Starters;Ht.;Year;PPG;Other stat

G-Max Nolting;5-11;Sr.;6.0;1.7 apg

G-Drew Johnson;5-11;Jr.;7.2; 3.4 apg

G-Matt Frost;6-5;Jr.;11.8; 5.7 rpg

F-Thomas Myers;6-3;Sr.;8.7; 2.9 rpg

F-Drew Hasson;6-3;Sr.;11.4; 5.1 rpg

Key reserves;Ht.;Year;PPG;Other stat

F-Dane Denniston;6-3;Sr.;1.0;0.8 rpg

G-Luke Poindexter;6-1;Sr.;2.1;1.0 rpg

G-Carson Whitehead;6-2;Jr.;4.1;1.0 rpg

G-Wyatt Koopman;6-1;Sr.;2.2;1.4 rpg

Columbus North

Starters;Ht.;Year;PPG;Other stat

G-Trey Vincent;6-0;Sr.;9.2;3.6 apg

G-Bailey Hester;6-0;Sr.;9.8;1.4 apg

G-Blake Barker;6-0;Fr.;10.3;3.1 rpg

F-Jaylen Flemmons;6-3;Sr.;11.7;6.0 rpg

F-Trenton Kelley;6-5;Jr.;5.9;4.1 rpg

Key reserves;Ht.;Year;PPG;Other stat

F-Patrick McKinley;6-3;Jr.;5.0;2.2 rpg

G-Lakeevon Whedon;5-11;Jr.;6.4;3.3 apg

G-Matt Boldrey;6-0;Sr.;2.7;0.9 rpg

G-Reese Harmon;5-9;Fr.;4.0;0.5 spg

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.