Dragon Slayers: Bull Dogs knock off two-time defending 3A state champions

Silver Creek was ahead after the first quarter of Friday night’ boys basketball game with Columbus North.

The remaining three quarters of the game belonged to the Bull Dogs.

North used to big runs in the second and the third quarters to pull away for a 52-35 win.

It’s a great bounce back win against the Dragons, who are the two-time defending state champions in Class 3A for the Bull Dogs after a disappointing loss to Seymour a week ago.

“Silver Creek is a really good team. They are known around the state as someone who is really good,” North junior Ty Ferguson said. “This was a great win for us bouncing back from that Seymour loss.”

One of the biggest things defensively for the Bull Dogs (3-1) was slowing down Silver Creek’s top player, Branden Northern. Northern scored seven points in the first quarter, but scored only seven the rest of the game.

“Branden’s a great player, and we knew that we had to execute our game plan against well, and he did that,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We needed to try to keep him out of transition and not give him open looks. Our game plan was to make other guys beat us, and our guys executed really well. I was really proud of the effort.”

The Bull Dogs couldn’t buy a basket for the first quarter, and it allowed the Dragons (2-1) to go ahead 7-5 after one. North then started out the second quarter on a 14-3 run to go ahead 19-10. Luke Harmon and Ty Ferguson combined for 10 of those 14 points during the run. A 3-pointer from Silver Creek cut it to 19-13 before the Bull Dogs converted three of four from the free-throw line to make it 22-13 at the half.

“My teammates found me the ball, and shots were going in, which was nice to see,” Ty Ferguson said. “When we move the ball, we’re hard to beat. Guys get open shots, and we knock them down.”

In the second half, North used a 13-4 run to go ahead 35-17, essentially putting the game away.

For the Bull Dogs, Harmon and Ferguson both finished with game-high honors with 15 points apiece. Sam King added eight.

“I think the more weapons we have on the team, the better the overall team is,” Harmon said. “We’re not just depending on one guy (to score). Sam and Cooper (Horn) are both really good players. When they have off nights, other guys have got to pick it up, and that’s what we did tonight.”

North won’t have much time to celebrate. The Bull Dogs travel to take on Martinsville with the tip at around 7:30 p.m. today.