ELNORA — With only four games left in the regular season, the North Daviess boys basketball team has regained its rhythm that helped them start the season so well.
The Cougars (8-9, 3-2 Southwestern Indiana) defeated conference foe Union Dugger (3-12, 0-6) 63-45 behind 18 points from Dusten Cook and 17 from Brady Helms for North Daviess’ second win in the last three games.
The Cougars jumped out to a 13-9 lead after one quarter behind eight points from Cook, including two 3-pointers. Helms added four points and Alex Wittmer split a pair of free throws to get North Daviess going early. In the second quarter, Cook hit two more 3-pointers and Helms and Austin Buehler scored six points each to give the Cougars a 20-point quarter and give North Daviess a 33-20 advantage at halftime.
Out of halftime, Dugger had its highest scoring quarter, as the Bulldogs held a 15-14 advantage. Dugger was led by Trey Bedwell, who scored seven of his team-high 17 points in the third and Carbon Gaines added seven points of his own. Zach Moore and Helms scored four points in the quarter and Cook, Kelby Byrer and Buehler had two points each, but North Daviess led 47-35 through three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Cougars put the game away by outscoring the Bulldogs 16-10 to seal the 18-point victory. Wittmer led all scorers in the fourth with seven points, Helms had three, Caleb Wagler, Cook, Moore and Byrer had two points each. Helms had 17 points, and seven rebounds, Wittmer added seven points, Byrer added six points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Buehler had eight points, Moore added six and Wagler had one point.
After jumping starting the season with a 3-1 mark, the Cougars lost four in a row to fall a game under .500. Then, North Daviess won three in a row and lost four in a row to put the Cougars at 6-8 on the season. Thursday night’s win put North Daviess in the win column for eighth time this season and was the third straight game, the Cougars played well enough to win. North Daviess had lost its previous game to North Knox, 68-64 in double overtime.
The Cougars finish the regular season with home games against North Central (Farmersburg) tonight and White River Valley Friday, before road games against Washington, Feb. 25 and Eastern Greene, Feb. 28.
In the JV game, North Daviess won 31-25. Caleb Wagler had 10 points and Kyle Kane had eight.