MARTINSVILLE — Class 4A No. 2 Columbus North came out fighting Friday night at Martinsville, climbing to a 66-36 win against the Artesians in the girls basketball season opener for both teams.
Led by sophomore Ali Patberg and junior Tayler Goodall, the Bull Dogs were able to overcome a close first quarter and eventually maintain a 30-point second-half lead.
North ended the first quarter up five points, with Martinsville scrambling for every opportunity. When Goodall got into foul trouble late in the first half, Patberg and junior Kelsey Cunningham stepped up to take the Bull Dogs a 33-18 lead going into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, freshman guard Paige Littrell hit two big jumpers to put North up 40-22, and there was no going back.
Although Patberg got into foul trouble late in the third quarter, the Bull Dogs were able to utilize the depth of their bench and maintain their 30-point lead to the final buzzer.
Patberg led North with 20 points, followed by Goodall with 14 and Cunningham with 11.
Third-year coach Pat McKee emphasized the need for the Bull Dogs to keep their game intact this season, with very little room for error.
“Our goal is not only to play well tonight, but to use tonight to prepare for later,” McKee said. “We don’t play any easy opponents. If we don’t execute, and we leave that door open for execution, we will get beat.”
North plays Franklin Central Friday in its Conference Indiana and home opener.
“Franklin Central has four returning starters, and they are a very solid team,” McKee said. “If we are able to successfully execute, I am extremely confident in this group.”
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