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Driving force: North’s Goodall shoots for state title

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Tayler Goodall of Columbus North puts up a shot earlier this season. PHOTO BY ANDREW LAKER
Tayler Goodall of Columbus North puts up a shot earlier this season. PHOTO BY ANDREW LAKER

Tyler Goodall figures his sister, Tayler, must have been 7 or 8 years old.

The pair were playing on opposite teams in a 2-on-2 battle with some cousins. Tyler fouled Tayler and landed on her hand, breaking two of her fingers.

Tayler wasn’t deterred. It was the first day of a girls basketball camp at Columbus North.

“She went and got it splinted up and went to the camp,” said Tyler, who is now a freshman at Indiana University. “At the end of the week, she came back with all of these ribbons and trophies from playing left-handed.”

On the record

Junior Tayler Goodall ranks near the top of several single-season and career statistical categories at Columbus North:

826 points: Ranks 10th on career scoring list.

408 career rebounds: Nineteen out of 10th place.

81 steals this season: Currently No. 6 for a season. She is six steals out of third.

166 career steals: Ranks ninth all-time. She is three away from eighth.

88.7 free-throw percentage this season: Would be a single-season school record if she can maintain that pace and get to 75 attempts (she is currently 55 of 62).

44.0 3-point percentage: Would be second on the all-time list.

37 3-pointers this season: Ranks fifth on the single-season list.

66 career 3-pointers: Is eighth on the all-time list. She is 11 away from third place.

Tayler plays mostly right-handed these days, and she’s doing it with glaring success. The 5-foot-10 junior is the second-leading scorer and leading rebounder on a team that is 23-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 12 in the country by USA Today going into this week’s Columbus East Sectional.

“I think we’ve had a great season,” Tayler said. “We’ve worked really hard, and we get along great. We always pick each other up. It’s been an awesome season.”

The past two years, Goodall has teamed with Ali Patberg to form one of the state’s top 1-2 punches. This season, Goodall is averaging 13.8 points and a team-leading 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 steals. She also leads the Bull Dogs in 3-point shooting (46.8 percent) and free-throw shooting (88.1 percent).

“Tayler has been terrific this year,” North coach Pat McKee said. “She’s really focused on the team and helping the team every which way she can, and at the same time, her numbers have improved. I think her efficiency is better, and her turnovers are way down this year, compared to last year.

“The biggest non-stat way that makes a difference is her defense,” he said.

“Her fouls are way down, and she’s often defended either the best player on the other team or the best inside threat, and she’s held a couple kids to zero points or single-digit points. She’s really done a terrific job in all facets.”

The highlight of Goodall’s season might have been the Dec. 28 Hall of Fame Classic. She led the Bull Dogs in scoring in both games, and in the semifinals helped shut down 6-3 leading Miss Basketball candidate Taya Reimer of then-No. 1 Hamilton Southeastern. For her efforts, Goodall earned the tournament’s MVP honors.

“Tayler is an incredible player,” said Hanna Ballard, the team’s lone senior. “She works really hard on defense and on offense, and without her, we wouldn’t have the team we have today.”

“She’s one of the best shooters I’ve seen, and she’s just really evolved as a player,” junior Kelsey Cunningham, who has played with Goodall since first grade. “She’s a good leader. She pushes the team to work harder, and she’s there at practice every day helping everyone, so she’s a good teammate.”

Tyler, who played basketball for North, and Tayler spent plenty of time as kids playing basketball at the Cunninghams with Kelsey and her brother, Clint, a senior on this year’s North squad. Tayler and Kelsey, along with Patberg and Ballard, played on travel teams coached by Patberg’s father, Ron, who is now a North assistant coach.

“A lot of us grew up playing for Ron,” Goodall said. “We were just little. Our dream was to win state, and we always wanted to play together, so I believed we could be that good. I knew it was going to take time.”

“Growing up, you could tell she had that raw talent, and then the thing that surprised me was how hard she worked once she got into it with her travel teams,” Tyler said. “When she started playing AAU around middle school, you could tell she had that drive.”

Tayler, who likes to hang out with friends and family, listen to music and go to basketball games and movies in her spare time, comes from a basketball family. Her great-grandfather, Raymond Scott, coached at Columbus High School, and her grandfather, David Scott, played basketball and is in a Hall of Fame for bowling. Her parents, Ned and Stephanie, were athletes at East.

Tyler was a three-year varsity basketball player and started at point guard for the Bull Dogs last season. He and Tayler played plenty of one-on-one as kids.

“We did a lot younger when we were in grade school,” Tyler said. “When we got older, it was more just shooting. I guess our favorite game was Around the World. She could usually beat me. She’s a lot better shooter than I am.”

Tayler has offers from several schools, including IU, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (Ohio), Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ball State, Delaware and Illinois State. She is going to wait at least until after the season to make a decision.

“I’m pretty interested in Florida Gulf Coast,” Goodall said.

Her main goal for now is to win six more games and a Class 4A state championship.

“Our main goal is to win state,” Goodall said. “We just want to stay focused and not get a big head, just come in 0-0 and take it one game at a time.”

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