Tayler Goodall and Ali Patberg have led the Columbus North girls basketball team to the best three-year run in school history over the past three years.
But sometimes in practice, when coach Pat McKee wanted to turn up the intensity a little, he would put Goodall and Patberg on opposite teams and watch the talented guards go head-to-head.
Tonight at Logansport and Wednesday in North’s Memorial Gym, fans will get a chance to see what McKee witnessed during those practice sessions. Goodall will play for the Indiana All-Stars, and Patberg will play for the Junior All-Stars in the teams’ annual exhibition games.
“Personally, it will be fun to watch those girls in those settings, especially when they go head-to-head in the Junior-Senior games,” McKee said. “It might remind me of some of our practice sessions where sometimes we split them up and put our better players on opposite teams.”
Goodall and the Indiana All-Stars will conclude the week by playing the Kentucky All-Stars on Friday at Transylvania University in Lexington and Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Patberg helped lead the Junior All-Stars to back-to-back wins against Kentucky’s Junior All-Stars over the weekend by recording nine points and a team-high four assists Friday and adding six points with team highs of five assists and three steals Saturday.
Goodall and Patberg, who also were travel team teammates until their middle school years, are looking forward to facing each other tonight and Wednesday.
“We’ve been on the same team forever,” Patberg said. “We go at each other hard in practice, but this will be different. But it should be fun. And it will be cool to play against each other at North.”
“It’s going to be like old times playing against each other,” Goodall said. “We usually push each other. It will be fun for Columbus to come and support both of us.”
Another Bull Dog, junior Josh Speidel, is on the boys Junior All-Star team that swept Kentucky over the weekend and will play the seniors tonight and Wednesday. Speidel had 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds on Friday and added 16 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot Saturday.
“It’s pretty exciting that we have three North players playing in it,” Goodall said. “It’s kind of uncommon. It’s pretty cool.”
Goodall, who is headed to Florida Gulf Coast University, hasn’t played in any games since the Bull Dogs ended their season with a loss to eventual Class 4A state champion Bedford North Lawrence in the regional finals. But she’s been working out almost every day either at the school or at Columbus Fit occasionally travels to Indianapolis to work on her game with her old travel team coach, Lee Larkins.
“I still need to get in better shape, but I’m in shape,” Goodall said. “I know that college is going to be a whole ’nother level of getting in shape, so I’m trying to get prepared for it. But I’m not there yet.”
The Indiana All-Stars met for practice Memorial Day Weekend at Lawrence North before convening again this weekend at Marian University.
“It was fun,” Goodall said. “It was nice getting to be back up with all the girls. I’m also excited to get to play at North one more time. It’s going to be a busy week.”
The Indiana All-Stars are led by Miss Basketball Whitney Jennings of Logansport, an Iowa recruit, and Evansville Mater Dei’s Maura Muensterman (Indiana University).
Patberg, who has committed to Notre Dame, and travel team teammates Dominique McBryde (Purdue) and Jenna Allen (Indiana) of BNL, are among the Junior All-Stars’ Core Six that will play in both Junior-Senior games. Two more of their travel team teammates, BNL’s Alexa Bailey (Butler) and Pike’s Brittany Ward, are on the South Six that will join them for Wednesday’s game at North.
“I play with four of the girls, and we know each other so well,” Patberg said. “To play against the seniors should be a good experience, and it will be a lot of fun.”
Goodall was a Junior All-Star last year and passed along some advice to Patberg.
“She talked about it over this season, and she said ‘Enjoy it. Be a good teammate,’” Patberg said. “It’s a lot of fun, and a lot of people don’t get to experience that.”
Goodall and Patberg led North to a 71-8 record with three Conference Indiana and three sectional titles and a state runner-up finish in the past three years.
“I think it’s a tribute to those players and how hard they’ve worked, not only those players making it, but the other girls who push them hard in practice,” McKee said. “Obviously our team success has given them the visibility to achieve that individual success. We’re thrilled for them, and we only want good things for each of them.”