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Bull Dogs survive Grizzly Cubs scare

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FRANKLIN — It was time for Glick to click.

With two minutes remaining in the third period and finding he and his Columbus North teammates trailing host Franklin by 14 points, the 6-foot-4 senior Sawyer Glick buried a quartet of treys in a span of seven minutes to lead the Bull Dogs in a come-from-behind effort and escape with a 49-48 victory.

The Saturday afternoon thriller was the 15th consecutive win for the Class 4A No. 2 Bull Dogs, who improved to 19-1. The stunned Grizzly Cubs fell to 12-5.

After a first half that had North turning the ball over eight times against Franklin’s pesky defense and trailing 21-19, the guests fell further behind as two more miscues lead to the Grizzly Cubs building a 28-19 advantage.

Franklin maintained its double-digit lead throughout most of the third frame and jumped ahead 38-24 with two minutes left. A dunk by North senior Clint Cunningham got the Bull Dogs fired up, but a technical foul was immediately called on a North player, putting the ball and momentum back in the Grizzly Cubs’ hands.

Or so they thought.

A steal and dunk by senior Paul Salee cut the deficit to 12, and Glick finally connected from the field to pull North to within nine. A pair of Josh Speidel free throws closed out the scoring for coach Jason Speer’s crew, which continued its comeback into the final period by getting another bomb from Glick and a three-point conversion by Cunningham to pull to within 40-39.

The hosts finally answered with an inside bucket, but Glick continued his assault from long range, drilling his third trey at the 6:15 mark to knot the action at 42, and then followed an Evan Henry layup with his final dagger just moments later to push the Bull Dogs in front for good at 47-42.

“I think that technical was what got us going,” said Glick, who finished with a team-high 14 points. “We knew we could come back and win, and we just needed that spark.”

Speer credited Franklin’s aggressive play for putting the Bull Dogs in a big hole and said he was grateful to leave with the triumph.

“Franklin had a tremendous game plan,” Speer said. “But I challenged our players after that technical, and they responded.”

North did it by increasing its pressure defense and creating turnovers instead of committing them. The Bull Dogs also began finding the open man and quit attempting to force the situation.

“When we were finding the right player we were scoring,” Speer added. “Glick hit some big shots for us, and the players did a great job getting him the ball.”

Speidel, who added 12 points and paced North with seven rebounds, drained a pair of free throws with 1:02 remaining to put North in front 49-44, but the hosts still refused to fold as they scored the next four points of the contest and had a chance to win before watching Dylan Phair’s 3-point heave bounce off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

“There are definitely some things we can learn from this,” Speer said. “And one thing is ‘Always believe you are never out of the game.’”

A belief Glick had already instilled.

“Any five of us on the floor can score and get things going,” he said. “So I was never really worried because I believe in this team.”

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