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Hosts keep pressure on East Central


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Columbus North junior Josh Speidel and senior Elliot Welmer continued right where they left off from their previous contest Friday night as East Central had no answer defensively against either of them.

After a sloppy first couple of possessions, the Bull Dogs went on a 21-4 run to start the game, and it was smooth sailing from there as they went on to hammer The Trojans 85-39.

North coach Jason Speer made sure his team did not take the Trojans lightly. In return, the Bull Dogs put on one of their better performances of the season. They held East Central to 15-of-42 shooting from the field.

“I really like our defensive effort tonight,” Speer said. “We had a lot of poise because East Central is very well coached and can move the basketball around very well. We played our defensive positions excellent tonight.”

Ahead 42-18 at the half, North (16-4) kept the offensive intensity going to make sure the Trojans (7-10) did not make a comeback. East Central contained Speidel and Welmer in the paint for much of the third quarter, but Evan Henry hit four 3-point baskets as the Bull Dogs started the third quarter on a 21-7 run to put the final nail in the coffin.

Speer pulled all of his starters from the game two minutes into the fourth quarter.

“We had to stay motivated and confident tonight, especially after a big conference win (over Bloomington South) Friday night,” Welmer said. “My teammates made some great passes, moved around on the floor to get open and we executed nicely once we got open for the easy basket.”

“Coach Speer told us at halftime to keep playing the way we are supposed to,” Speidel said. “He told us to try and not do too much and force the issue one-on-one and to keep playing as a team.”

It was a team effort all around offensively, as North had five players score in double figures. Speidel finished with a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Welmer had 16 points and five rebounds. Henry scored 17 points and had three assists, and Christian Glass contributed 14 points.

“You have to credit coach for keeping focused through the entire game,” Speidel said. “I have to credit the team for my performance on the floor tonight. We established great communication. We are best friends out there on the floor and off of the court, as well.”

“Josh and Elliot are shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now,” Speer said. “In fact, everyone on the team is. Evan hit key shots for us, and we are just working on getting better every day. It was an excellent night for us all around.”

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