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Bull Dogs bounce back with victory

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The Class 4A No. 9 Columbus North boys basketball team definitely let out some frustration Saturday night following its close loss the previous evening.

The Bull Dogs jumped out to an 18-7 lead to start the game and kept the intensity going for an 83-65 win over Whiteland. The victory came 24 hours after they lost a 15-point lead in an overtime defeat at Southport.

“I think the guys really embraced the effort they displayed out there,” North coach Jason Speer said. “We were in the right positions defensively, and then it relayed to some good offense for us. We moved the basketball really well and found the open man. We shot very well out there tonight.”

With the Bull Dogs (14-4) ahead 25-10 in the middle second quarter, the Warriors (6-10) found some rhythm to make it 33-21 at halftime, highlighted by a 10-5 run.

The Bull Dogs inside presence, however, led by Josh Speidel and Elliott Welmer, would stop any momentum the Warriors would have. Speidel and Welmer combined to score 39 of the team’s 83 points.

“In the first half, we did a great job of double teaming the paint,” Whiteland coach Matt Wadsworth said. “In the second half, they made an adjustment to spread the floor a lot more often and it led to them getting many opportunities in the paint and at the free-throw line.”

“When Josh and Elliott get going, they get very aggressive at the basket,” Speer said. “It also allowed our perimeter shooters to get open shot opportunities as well. We really depend on those guys a lot and doing the things they need to do in order for us to have success out there.”

Evan Henry led the Bull Dogs with 22 points, while Welmer scored 20 and Speidel added 19. John Hubler led the Warriors with 21 points.

“We came out with as much intensity as possible throughout the game,” Welmer said. “I played hard and physical in the post,

and I have to credit my teammates for finding me when I got open for the

easy baskets.”

It was about missed opportunities early on for the Warriors. They were forced into tough shots in the paint and could not find the basket early on as they made only two field goals in the

first quarter.

“I think we put ourselves at a disadvantage early by not finding the open shot,” Wadsworth said. “We also missed some key free throws in the first half, as well.”

“We knew Whiteland was a great 3 point shooting team so we had to do a good job running them off the perimeter and thought our guys did a great job protecting the rim,” Speer said.

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