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Bull Dogs standout adds ‘Junior All-Star’ to résumé

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JOSH Speidel’s junior basketball season didn’t end the way he wanted.

The 6-foot-8 forward saw his Columbus North team blow a big early lead in a loss to Bloomington North in the sectional semifinals. The Cougars went on to win a regional title, while the Bull Dogs finished 20-6 and were left wondering what might have been.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted, obviously, at the end of the season,” Speidel said. “But it was an honor to be part of the team. I wouldn’t say it was a disappointing season, but it wasn’t the results we wanted.”

Speidel was Columbus North’s most consistent player this season, and Wednesday he received some good news when he was selected as one of the Core Six players on the 2014 Indiana Junior All-Star Team.

“That’s a big honor here in the state of Indiana, a basketball state, to be named a Junior, and if I’m blessed again, to be a Senior All-Star,” Speidel said. “I’ve followed it from when I was young. It’s a great honor that I couldn’t have done without my great teammates and coaches and family.”

The Junior All-Stars will play the Kentucky Junior All-Stars June 6 at Indianapolis Scecina and June 7 at a site in Lexington, Ky., to be determined. The Indiana Juniors will then play the Senior All-Stars June 9 and 11 at sites to be determined. Core Six players will play in all four games.

This season, Speidel led the Bull Dogs with 17.4 points and 9.1 rebounds a game and finished second on the team with 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks. He shot 56.7 percent from the field.

In his three years as a starter, North has gone 62-14.

“Josh is a consumate team player,” North coach Jason Speer said. “He’s been a big part of a lot of those wins, and it’s nice for him to get those individual accolades that go with that, as well. Josh has been a winner on every team he’s ever played on, so for him to receive those honors is a big accomplishment for him.”

Speidel is the third Bull Dog to be named to the Indiana All-Star or Junior All-Star teams this year. Senior Tayler Goodall is on the girls Indiana All-Star squad, and junior Ali Patberg is on the girls Junior All-Star team.

One of Speidel’s teammates on his Indiana Elite travel squad, Hyron Edwards from East Chicago Central, made the Core Six. Also on the Core Six are Carmel’s Ryan Cline, Bowman Academy’s Davon Dillard, Penn’s Jordan Geist and Brownsburg’s K.J. Walton.

“Any which way if I were to make the South team or the Core Six, it would have been a blessing either way,” Speidel said. “Obviously, that was a great thing, but I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. It’s a blessing and honor to be named to the Junior All-Stars, and it’s a great honor to be Core Six.”

“I think it was a goal that Josh was able to achieve through his hard work and dedication to our team,” Speer said. “We’re excited because if you make the Core Six, you’re definitely in the discussion for the All-Stars and Mr. Basketball for next year.”

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