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Bull Dogs crush Conference Indiana rival Perry Meridian

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If the Columbus North girls basketball players had weak legs after their long trip Wednesday and Thursday, it wasn’t a factor in a 77-50 victory against Conference Indiana rival Perry Meridian on Saturday at Columbus North High School.

Bulldogs coach Pat McKee used his entire roster liberally in the dominating performance.

North had traveled to St. Louis on Wednesday and returned on Thursday from the Coaches vs. Cancer Hall of Fame Shootout in which they dropped a narrow decision to national power Rock Bridge (Mo.).

But the Bull Dogs (12-2 overall, 2-0 Conference Indiana) looked fresh Saturday.

“Our energy level was really good,” said North coach Pat McKee. “I think it was a direct carryover from playing such a quality opponent earlier in the week in St. Louis. We played at a high level there and I think we brought that level into today’s game.”

The Bull Dogs, who saw 10 players score on Saturday, were led by senior Kelsey Cunningham’s 18 points. “We’ve often played down to other team’s levels,” said Cunningham. “I think we did a good job playing our game. We maintained our energy and that was key.”

North opened the game with a 7-0 run and Perry Meridian (7-7; 1-2) never challenged.

By the end of the first quarter, North led 18-4. The lead widened to 35-13 lead at halftime. McKee was able to get his reserves valuable experience in the second half.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the future,” McKee said. “You may have to play someone in a situation they’ve never seen before. So we like it when we can get kids into the game to help develop them. We’re not only developing for this year, but also for the future.”

Taking advantage of the playing time, North freshman Maliah Howard-Bass scored nine points off the bench for the Bull Dogs.

“The playing time helps me,” said Howard-Bass. “Getting time on the court helps me learn and develop. I guard our starters in practice so it help me be ready for these situations.”

The game also marked two milestones as Tayler Goodall’s nine points gave her 1,070 for her career, and helped her pass Karen McCaa (1,061) for fifth place on the Columbus North all-time scoring list. Ali Patberg scored 12, giving her 1,052 for her career, moving her into seventh on the list, ahead of Sarah Kerkof (1,043).

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