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North blasts Owls

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SEYMOUR — Size, athleticism and senior leadership. The ability to shoot from long range, and the ability to take it to the hoop.

The Class 4A No. 2 Columbus North boys basketball has it all, and that was on full display in Tuesday’s 91-32 win at Seymour.

“I thought our ball-handling was really good in the first half,” North coach Jason Speer said of his team building a 42-12 lead at halftime and forcing 11 Seymour turnovers.

“We only had two turnovers. We hit the open guy, and when we hit the open guy, we usually have a pretty good chance to hit the open shot.”

North (21-1) scored the first seven points of the first quarter and led 23-7 after eight minutes of play. All five starters scored three or more points.

The Dogs then ran off the first 10 points of the second quarter and caused four Owl turnovers. Two starters combined for 10 points in the quarter, and Clint Cunningham came off the bench and made a 3-pointer and 6 of 7 free throws to lift North to a 30-point lead at halftime.

“We try to make the other team match up with us, and obviously we have some size, and the teams we play against usually don’t have the size that we have,” Speer said. “But we have the athleticism to get out and run, too.”

Twelve of the 13 players on the North varsity roster are listed between 6-foot-1 and 6-9.

“They’ve got size,” Seymour coach Scott Miller said of the Bull Dogs. “What makes size big is when you have the ability to shoot outside, and that’s what they have. It’s not like you can collapse the whole student body on their bevy of 6-9 kids when they’ve got those shooters out there, and those are big guards, too.”

North’s starters scored 17 of the team’s third-quarter points, and then Speer went to his bench players for the remainder of the game. The Bull Dogs outscored the Owls 41-16 in bench points, including a game-high 16 by North senior Connor Oren — all in the second half.

“These eight seniors have been a fantastic group,” Speer said. “They were really the first class that was here when I took the job, and they’ve really been the catalyst and leaders for the program. They show up every single day. It’s a very competitive practice each and every day with the competitive JV team we have and the seniors we have to come off the bench.”

Three North starters scored in double figures, led by Josh Speidel’s 14 points, and Cunningham scored 12 off the bench.

“Columbus North is an unbelievable high school basketball team,” Miller said. “They have every weapon you could have if you were recruiting players. They’ve got outstanding perimeter shooters. They shot high 60s tonight, and that’s with the percentage that they had taking a knock late in the game when they had subbed. I would put them as either the best or second-best team that I’ve seen in 12 years.”

Landon Booth and Toriek Miller scored six points apiece to lead Seymour (2-17).

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