Barker, Bull Dogs erupt for senior night win

Lauren Barker saved the best game of her high school basketball career for her final battle in Memorial Gym.

The Columbus North senior sank a single-game school-record eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points on her senior night Tuesday to lead the Bull Dogs to a 59-35 win against Rushville.

“I love this gym,” Barker said. “I love playing in it. This place feels like home to me, so walking away from this awesome gym is definitely hard.”

Barker scored all of her points in the final three quarters. She finished 8 of 15 from 3-point range and 11 of 19 overall from the field.

“It definitely felt good, but I owe all the respect to my teammates for getting me the ball at the right time,” Barker said. “It’s always good to see shots fall, so it was a fun night. I’m proud of how the team is playing well together, and hopefully, we can continue to.”

The Bull Dogs (14-7) got off to a slow start and trailed 6-4 after one quarter. They still trailed 14-9 midway through the second quarter when they went on a 19-3 run to take control.

“Right now, we’re in a little bit of a lull with our starts the last few games,” North coach Brett White said. “We haven’t had the best starts, so that’s something we have to work on, do a better job of. We kind of got a few baskets to go and got in a better flow on both ends.”

Kennedy Horn added 10 points for the Bull Dogs. Kathryn Wilson grabbed 10 rebounds to lead North to a 34-24 advantage on the boards.

“I do think that we defended well, especially in the second half,” White said. “I thought the first half, we were a step slow on some of the ball screens. We fouled a little bit too much in the second half, but overall, our defense helped us sustain things.”

Tuesday’s game was also the last home contest for seniors Emma Long and Kayla Jones.

“I’ve played basketball since I was in Kindergarten, so it’s all kind of coming to an end,” Long said. “This team, I’ve been super close with my senior year. They’re all my best friends, so it’s been super hard. It’s really nice that my last game at North is a win with my teammates.”

Jones saw her first action in about three weeks after being sidelined with a back injury.

“It’s really sad that it’s our last game here, but we got this far, so I’m really proud of us,” Jones said. “It was a little slow at the start, but we were able to pull it out.”

“We have three great seniors,” White said. “Emma Long is really a stabilizing force for us. Kayla Jones is our energy and does a lot of things well for us. Then, of course, Lauren is someone that we really lean on a lot. I’m really proud of these three seniors. They’ve been a big part of our program the last few years.”

Columbus North 59, Rushville 35

Rushville;6;11;10;8;—;35

Columbus North;4;17;19;19;—;59

Rushville (11-13): Briley Munchel 6 2-2 18, Kylee Herbert 0 0-0 0, Olivia Smith 12-3 4, Belle Gossett 1 2-3 4, Gracie Buzzard 0 0-0 0, Kiley Parsley 0 0-0 0, Leonie Boyer 23-4 7. Totals: 11 8-11 35.

Columbus North (14-7): Kathryn Wilson 2 1-2 5, Lauren Barker 11 0-0 30, Olivia Johnson 10-0 2, Elise Preston 0 1-2 1, Kennedy Horn 5 0-2 10, Kenna Conrad 0 0-0 0, Kayla Jones 0 0-0 0, Kaitlin White 10-0 3, Miley McClellan 10-0 3, Emma Long 0 0-0 0, Sydney Johnson 0 0-0 0, Hadassah Hurt 20-0 5. Totals: 23 2-6 59.

3-point goals: Rushville 5 (Munchel 4, Gossett); Columbus North 11 (Barker 8, White, McClellan, Hurt).