For The Tribune
COLUMBUS — Even when it’s not producing points, defense can indeed be the best offense.
The Columbus North boys basketball team rode their defense Tuesday evening, holding Seymour without a point for nearly eight minutes during an extended closing run that powered the Bull Dogs to a 48-37 senior night triumph against the cold-shooting Owls.
“It wasn’t one of our best nights offensively,” North coach Paul Ferguson said. “We won the game by really clamping down defensively in the second half.”
Facing a 29-24 deficit late in the third period, North (8-13) tied the score on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Mitchell Kelley, then added seven unanswered points over the first 4½ minutes of the fourth quarter to grab a 36-29 advantage.
By the time Alan Perry broke the Seymour drought on a steal and layup with 3:18 to go, the team had been held scoreless for 7 minutes and 27 seconds.
The Owls shot just 29.5 percent (13 of 44) from the field on the evening and missed 14 of 17 3-point tries.
It wasn’t all bad for Seymour, though, particularly in the opening minutes.
The visitors jumped out to an early 13-6 edge behind a three-point play by Tiller Cummings and a pair of 3-pointers from Tyler Bloom.
Columbus North, however, responded. The Bull Dogs took their first lead on a Jaylen Flemmons three-point play with 4:03 to go in the half, part of an extended 14-2 run that put Seymour in a 20-15 hole.
Down by two at the half, Seymour (6-15) reclaimed the upper hand in the third quarter, using an 8-0 run to build a 29-24 cushion by the 2:45 mark of the period. Perry’s drought-snapping layup was the Owls’ lone field goal the rest of the way.
Cummings and Bloom finished with 12 points apiece to lead Seymour. Owls guard Toriek Miller was hounded into a 1-for-12 shooting night by the Bull Dogs’ Trey Vincent.
Seymour will try to get back on track when it finishes the regular season Friday with a trip to Silver Creek.