North puts together big summer of basketball

Columbus North’s Caleb Ferguson, left, drives to the basket while guarded by Terre Haute North’s Jack Halls Jan. 5 at Columbus North.

The Republic file photo

The bad news for Columbus North is that it is coming off its worst boys basketball season in 17 years.

The good news for the Bull Dogs, however, is that they lost no seniors to graduation and return virtually their entire roster.

What’s even better news for North is that those returning players put together a strong summer during the June period in which teams are able to practice and play games. The Bull Dogs capped the month by going 10-0 to to win Super Hoops Tournament at Indiana Wesleyan.

“We had a great month,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We build a lot of good team camaraderie. We won a lot of games.”

At the Super Hoops tourney, the Bull Dogs beat powers such as South Bend Riley, Delta and Hamilton Heights, as well as a pair of teams from suburban Columbus, Ohio. North beat Hauser and Jennings County in a one-night event at Hauser.

North went 2-1 in the Purdue Shootout with wins against Franklin Central and Zionsville and a loss to Westfield in the title game. The Bull Dogs were missing a few key players in the IBCA Shootout at Warren Central and fell to reigning Class 4A state champ Fishers.

Also, North went 1-2 at UIndy Shootout, falling to New Palestine and Brownstown Central and beating Pendleton Heights. In the final week of June, the Bull Dogs beat Roncalli and lost to Shelbyville and Whiteland with mix of JV and varsity players.

“When we had our whole team together this summer, we were really good,” Ferguson said. “We won some big games.”

Columbus North’s Garrett Long shoots against Heritage Christian Nov. 21, 2023 at Columbus North.

The Republic file photo

Incoming seniors Garrett Long, Nolan Pickup, Max Coomes and Nate Enneking and incoming juniors Caleb Ferguson and Drew Schiefer were starters all or part of last season for a team that went 6-16. Incoming senior Ben Ferguson also saw plenty of action last season, and incoming sophomore Austin Perry had seen increased varsity time before being injured.

Incoming senior Eli Smith, incoming junior Mason Acton and incoming sophomores Gage King and Brennan Hester also dressed varsity all or part of last season.

“Our team did a great job this summer,” Ferguson said. “They just continued to develop, and when we had all our guys there, they had a lot of success. We’re going to build on this, and we’re looking forward to a great season.”