Run It Back: Bull Dogs, Grizzly Cubs to meet again after double-OT thriller

Columbus North’s Cooper Horn, right, dribbles past Columbus East’s Zane Moravec for a layup during the annual rivalry boys basketball game at Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.

The Republic file photo

Columbus North and Franklin staged an epic battle on Saturday night, with the Bull Dogs prevailing 70-58 in double overtime.

Now, the top two teams in the Class 4A North Sectional are pitted against each other in the first round. The Bull Dogs and Grizzly Cubs will square off at around 7:45 p.m. Feb. 28.

“We’re excited to see them right off the bat. It was a great game at Columbus North on Saturday,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We feel we can play better than we did on Saturday. I think there’s also a comfort level in knowing what they do, so we feel like we’ll be ready right off the bat against those guys.”

Waiting on the winner between the Bull Dogs (14-7) and Franklin (10-12) will be Columbus East (2-18). The Olympians received a first-round bye and will play in the semifinals at around 7:45 p.m. March 3.

“I think trying to win three in one week vs. two is a lot, so the bye is always nice,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “But you’re going to have to play somebody good to win the sectional. Franklin and Columbus North are really good teams.”

Columbus East’s Ben Sylva passes the ball against Greensburg at Columbus East, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

The Republic file photo

The Olympians snapped a 15-game winning streak on Friday with a 51-49 win at Madison.

“We found a way to win,” Chitty said. “We hit some shots late and defended. It was nice for our guys to get that win.”

In the top half of the bracket, Shelbyville (9-11) and East Central (6-15) will meet in the opener at 6 p.m. Feb. 28. The winner will face Whiteland (8-14) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. March 3.

The North Sectional championship will be at 7:30 p.m. March 4.

“We have the benefit of playing at home, so that’s advantageous, also,” Ferguson said. “We have the best record, but at the same time, Franklin is a really good team. We went to double-overtime with Franklin. Their season has been up-and-down with some injuries and stuff, and they played really well on Saturday night. Whiteland has also been up-and-down, and they can be really good. Franklin has the experience factor of winning their sectional last year, so I think that gives them confidence going into it.”

The winner of the North Sectional will play the winner of the Center Grove Sectional at in the Seymour Regional at 7 p.m. March 11.

Also in 4A, No. 9 Jennings County (18-2) will play Bedford North Lawrence (15-6) in the at 6 p.m. Feb. 28 in the opener of the Seymour Sectional. The winner will face Jeffersonville (11-8) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. March 3.

Hauser’s Ledger Gelfius (10) snags a rebound ahead of Brown County’s Caleb Hammond (3) at Hauser High School.

The Republic file photo

Meanwhile, Hauser, which bumped up to 2A this year, drew a first-round bye in the five-team sectional at South Ripley. The Jets (10-11) will play the winner between Switzerland County (9-13) and Milan (6-15) in the semifinals at around 7:45 p.m. March 3.

Hauser fell to Switzerland County 57-47 on Dec. 17 and beat Milan 46-41 on Feb. 17.

“It’s always great to have a bye,” Hauser coach Trent Moorhead said. “I certainly feel good about beating Milan, and we played Switzerland County tough. So I feel good about our draw.”

North Decatur (18-4) plays South Ripley (11-11) in the top half of the bracket.

“North Decatur is the team to beat,” Moorhead said. “But we’ve shown that we can compete with anybody all season long.”

In Class A, Edinburgh (12-9) and South Decatur (10-11) will face each other in the opener of the Edinburgh Sectional at 7 p.m. Feb. 28. The winner will play Oldenburg Academy (6-13) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. March 3.

Trinity Lutheran (6-15) drew a first-round bye in the Class A New Washington Sectional and will play at 6 p.m. March 3 against the winner between Shawe Memorial (9-13) and New Washington (10-12).

In 3A, Brown County (0-21) will meet South Vermillion (8-14) in the first round of the seven-team Northview Sectional at 6 p.m. March 1. The winner will play Edgewood (9-13) or West Vigo (12-11) at around 7:45 p.m. March 3.

All sectional finals will be the evening of March 4.