RICHMOND — The only drama in the second half of Friday evening’s Bob Wettig Memorial Tournament quarterfinal focused on whether Evan Henry would eclipse the 1,000-point mark for his career.
The Columbus North senior guard ended that suspense with 5:47 left in the third quarter when he scored on a layup to give him the magic 1,000. The Bull Dogs cruised to a 75-54 win against Bedford North Lawrence.
“I wouldn’t say I was thinking about it, but it’s kind of nice to get it out of the way,” Henry said. “It felt good, but the main goal is to come out here and win the championship.”
The Class 4A No. 10 Bull Dogs (7-2) play Class 4A No. 9 Fort Wayne North (10-0) in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. today. The third-place game is at 6 p.m., followed by the championship at 7:30 p.m.
Henry, who finished with 14 points, now has 1,006 for his career.
“I’m so happy for him because he’s worked hard on his game,” North coach Jason Speer said. “We’ve asked him to do a lot of things over his career, and he’s accepted everything that we’ve thrown at him. We have done a lot of winning, and a lot of that has to do with him. I’m very grateful for Evan and his hard work.”
The Bull Dogs went 9-of-19 from 3-point range and blocked nine shots. Elliott Welmer had six of those blocks.
“We protected the rim well,” said junior Josh Speidel, who led North with 16 points and seven rebounds. “We have to work on staying in front of our guy, but we did a good job with help-side (defense).”
“Bedford is a great 3-point shooting team, so when you don’t allow them to shoot 3-pointers, they’re going to drive it,” Speer said. “But what they’re driving into is 6-8, 6-9. We protected the rim really well,” Speer said. “We just have to do a little bit better job of guarding off the bounce.”
The Stars (2-4) led 5-3 early before the Bull Dogs erupted for a 19-0 run to take control. Speidel began the run with a 3-pointer, followed by back-to-back dunks from Welmer. Christian Glass and Trent Larson then sank 3-pointers to give North a 16-5 lead after one quarter.
After Speidel and Welmer opened the second quarter with 3-point plays, the Bull Dogs led 22-5 with 6:56 left in the first half.
“I thought we came out with good energy and found the open guys, and we executed,” Speidel said.
“We had a great first quarter defensively, and then we executed offensively the entire game,” Speer said. “I’m very happy with the offense.”
Bedford North Lawrence cut the lead to 11 twice late in the first half, but could come no closer. North led 35-21 at halftime.
Welmer finished with 15 points for the Bull Dogs. Larson added 11.
“We were getting the ball inside and out, and we got our transition back up,” Henry said. “We were moving the ball, and our 3-point shots were going in today.”
“I thought we executed really well,” Speer said. “We had balanced scoring. We were inside and outside offensively. I thought we executed the game plan defensively. We have to be ready (today) for two very tough games.”