Bull Dogs roll to easy win

Early in the second quarter Saturday night, Columbus North found itself trailing Whiteland 20-19.

From that point it was all Bull Dogs. North finished the first half on a 17-2 run, then continued to roll in the second half on its way to a 77-48 boys basketball victory.

“We got tough defensively, and we started rebounding better, and that initiated our break and we got a couple easy baskets and pushed the lead and then we felt pretty good about ourselves going into halftime,” North coach Paul Ferguson said.

The blowout was the second in as many nights for the Bull Dogs (14-3), who ran to a 78-59 victory at Southport on Friday.

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“Coming off the game last night, we might not have had our legs underneath us to start,” junior guard Blake Barker said. “Once we got warmed up, we just knew that if we did the things we did the previous night, we’d be fine.”

Barker poured in a career-high 30 points on Saturday, matching his career high.

“We just played well as a team,” Barker said. “We were patient with our offense, and we played good team defense. We’re just moving the ball well, and we have good chemistry amongst us right now.”

Senior Nick Schiavello added 17 points for North.

“We just know if we play hard, things are going to go our way,” Schiavello said. “If we give it our all, get loose balls, then we’re going to get some easy layups, get some stuff in transition and when we get transition buckets, we get going in all other facets of the game.”

Reese Harmon scored all nine of his points during the Bull Dogs’ 17-2 run to close the first half that gave them a 36-22 lead. The Warriors (3-12) got back to within 39-31 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but North answered with a 19-4 run to put it away.

“I thought we had a fantastic second half,” Ferguson said. “I love how we shared the ball, pitched it ahead, made the unselfish play. We shot the ball all weekend, and when you combine that with unselfish play, it usually leads to good things.”

Casper Clark added eight points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Bull Dogs to a 37-17 advantage on the boards. Jakub Trusina chipped in seven points.

Ferguson credited his assistant coaches with working hard on individual instruction and shooting with the players last week.

“I think we’re kind of just finding our swagger again, like we had early in the season,” Schiavello said. “We had two games where we kind of played flat, and we’re starting to find ourselves and get comfortable again and play as one cohesive unit. It’s really fun to play when you’re playing like that.”