Greg Oden & The Wildcats Snap Out Of Funk

After a 16-day layoff, Lawrence North looked a bit sluggish. The unbeaten two-time defending Class 4A state champions led unranked Franklin Central by just three points in the third quarter.

"Then it was like the Road Runner," Franklin Central coach Mark James said. "Beep, beep -- gone."

On the heels of a strong third quarter from 7-foot center Greg Oden, visiting Lawrence North went on a 19-2 run and surged past the Flashes 57-38 Tuesday night. It was the fewest points the Wildcats have scored this season, but also the second-fewest they've allowed.

Oden, in foul trouble five minutes into the game, was 2-for-2 from the field in the first half for four points as the Wildcats seldom threw him the ball in position to make a play. That changed in the second half as Lawrence North looked for him more, and last season's national high school Player of the Year responded with 15 third-quarter points as the Wildcats (9-0) won their 25th game in a row.

Oden got the message assistant coach Joe Leonard delivered.

"He said I was walking around with my head down and he told me everybody was playing like that, with their head down," Oden said. "He said we needed somebody to play with some heart."

Oden finished with 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting, including hitting his improving hook shot, and had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Lawrence North point guard Mike Conley had a nearly flawless game, scoring a game-high 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting, with four assists and five steals. Conley kept the Wildcats in the game in the first half with 14 points as they led 23-18.

Franklin Central (4-4) got 12 points from junior guard John Ashworth and eight points and four rebounds from 6-10 junior center JaJuan Johnson.

Lawrence North plays in the Marion County Tournament beginning Tuesday before playing at North Central on Jan. 19 in a game on ESPN2.