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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

North Loses By One

Both Panthers team are searching for their first victory this season.  But North girls basketball came the closest to reaching that goal in the Tip Off games hosted at Northridge over Thanksgiving weekend.  Their first game was a lopsided loss against Carlisle but their next night’s game was against Northridge and that game was an exciting game that was down to wire.

The Indians have decent size, can shoot the ball both outside (hitting 7 3 pointers in the 3rd quarter) and inside.  And they are no slouches on the defensive end of the court.  North kept pace with them for one half, but after that the Indians expanded their lead and thanks to a lot of North turnovers, they won handily 57-22.  Freshman point guard Cassi Stinson lead Panther scoring with 10, Sara Harris 3, Megan Duffy 3, Tiarra Alford 3, Kara Simpson 1, December Strawser 2.

The most dramatic game of the weekend was the final game – North versus Northridge. North has already lost one starter for 2 weeks with a preseason injury and against Northridge they were short a second starter so that made the level of difficulty a little harder for North.  Both teams were slow to get going in the first quarter.  Sarah Harris nailed a 3 late in the quarter to give North a lead they would hold onto for a good part of the game.  In the second and third quarters, North would make a run, but Northridge would bounce back with a little run of their own and stay on the Panthers heels. 

Outside shooting was what kept North on top during this time.  They connected on 6 treys in the first 3 quarters – but wouldn’t hit one at all in the last quarter.  The game momentum shifted back and forth at the end of the 3rd quarter.  North made a nice 7-2 run and seemed poised to put the game away.  They were up 27-16, their only double digit lead of the night.  But Northridge made some adjustments after a time out and went on a 10-0 run of their own and their fans raised the roof when midway through the 4th quarter Northridge gained the lead.

Now the game went back and forth as the North came back and tied the score. And foul shots became critical in the last few minutes.  North was giving away bonus and senior Megan Duffy, a post player, fouled out with about a minute left.  Northridge sunk both throws to give Northridge the lead.  And with 20 seconds left, North was forced to foul to get the ball back and again they sunk both of them to extend their lead.  With 3 second lefts North inbounded the ball, but didn’t get the 3 point shot they needed for a tie – sinking instead a two point shot and losing 36-35 in a thrilling game.

Scoring for North: December Strawser (6), Sara Harris (3), Cassi Stinson (3), Allie Kring (9), Megan Duffy (6), Hailey Hillard (3), Tiarra Alford (5)

Coach Jessica Cherry on the Northridge game:  “They came out in the second half to shut down our outside shooting and I think they were successful in that.  Having our post player foul out at the end was a huge difference.  But I think we played a lot better today and we were short one of our starters with the flu, and it’s a whole different game if we have her here.  Keeping momentum was hard, I think we got a little tired at the end from playing games two nights in a row."

Cassi Stinson: “She made some good shots at the end of the game and was the leading scorer against Carlisle.  She did hurt her ankle and that may have affected her in the beginning of the game.  But she has stepped into her role as point guard and been a good leader too.  Allie Kring had a good game too, she shot well for us. Once we get our injured players back we should be able to get that inside – outside game going.”

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