COLUMBUS North junior forward Elliott Welmer is a pretty good 3-point shooter for a guy who is 6-foot-8.
On Friday night in a 75-68 victory against visiting Lawrence Central, Welmer showed he can score three points at a clip in other ways.
Three times in North’s Conference Indiana victory, Welmer blasted his way to the rim, making the basket and getting fouled each time.
Add in the 3-point shot he hit in the third quarter, and he scored 12 of his 18 points on four plays.
He scored 13 points alone in the third quarter, when the Bull Dogs (10-1, 2-1 Conference Indiana) were building a 57-47 lead.
“Elliott stepped into a starting role and in the first half he was very active around the rim,” North coach Jason Speer said. “He played really well in the Richmond Tournament to earn a start.”
It was the first start of Welmer’s varsity career. He was a junior varsity player last season.
“It felt great (to start),” Welmer said. “I put in all that hard work.
“I was just trying to be more aggressive and play my game. I’ve been doing that the last few games, getting more rebounds. It’s a matter of having the right mind set.”
The Bull Dogs had the right mindset against a Bears squad that pushed them to the limit with tremendous ball pressure. North had 21 turnovers, including 14 in the first half.
North stayed tough, though, always answering any little run that Lawrence Central could muster.
“We figured out a way to win when we didn’t play our best,” Speer said. “But Lawrence Central is a dangerous team. Not many teams would have a better record playing their schedule.”
The Bears (2-5 overall, 1-2 Conference Indiana) have played a brutally tough schedule so far, including a pair of losses to Pike. Senior guard DeVonte Harris proved to be too much for North to handle as he finished with a game-high 28.
North, though, took care of the rest of the Lawrence Central lineup, forcing the Bears to throw up long distance jumpers for much of the night.
Center Tori Jackson got North off to a solid start with a 10-point first half, but he didn’t score in the second half.
Josh Speidel had another big offensive night for North with 17 points and the Bull Dogs’ guards, Evan Henry (nine points), Garrett Larson (eight points) and Sawyer Glick (11 points), all did a great job down the stretch when the Bears turned up the heat in a desperation effort to get back into the game.
Lawrence Central cut the lead to 68-64 with 2:50 left, but Larson hit two big free throws and then Welmer stuffed Harris as he drove the lane for perhaps the game’s most important defensive play. After turnovers by both teams, Larson drove the lane for a basket and the game was in the bank.
Lawrence Central coach J.R. Shelt was whistled for a technical foul in the third quarter for berating the officials.