Panthers top Bull Dogs in overtime

BLOOMINGTON — Columbus North and Bloomington South fought toe-to-toe during Friday’s Conference Indiana boys basketball game. By the way both teams played throughout the game, it was quite understanding that an overtime session was necessary to decide the winner.

In the overtime session, the Panthers were able to convert their free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 75-69 victory.

Bloomington South took the lead at 62-59 after two free throws from Grayson Rolen with 1:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. On the next possession for North, Patrick McKinley spotted up and drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 62-62 with 45 seconds to go.

The Panthers had the chance to hit the go-ahead bucket, but a jumper from Jordan Meeks was just off the mark at the buzzer to send the game in overtime.

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“(Bloomington South) wasn’t coming out and guarding me, and I just took the shot,” McKinley said. “I had the confidence. I hit a couple of big one (in the game). Things didn’t go our way, and that’s how it ended. We’ll be back and better for the sectional.”

North (14-5, 3-1) did a great job containing Bloomington South’s (18-3, 5-0) top player Anthony Leal, who only scored two points in the first three quarters of the game. He finished with 10 points for the game.

“We had a good game plan defensively,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We confused them a little bit with some of the changing defenses. (Leal) started making some plays at the end of the third and into the fourth quarter and he is a handful when he goes to the rim.”

The Bull Dogs finished with four players in double figures. McKinley led the way with 17 points. Nicholas Schiavello added 16, Reese Harmon had 14 and Blake Barker 13.

For the Panthers, Rolen finished with a game-high 19 points that included going 10-for-10 from the line. Noah Jager addednnor Hickman 11.

“Overall, I thought those guys had a tremendous game and had very balanced scoring,” Ferguson said. “We played a very good ball game, but we would have liked to see a couple more 3s go down. We were pretty physical on the glass. It was a physical game.”

The Bull Dogs and Panthers have the potential to face each other again in the sectional in a few weeks, with North hosting this year’s sectional.