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Sunday, November 22, 2015

North Wins Opener; Loses to Carlisle

Tri-County North hosted a CCC vs. SWBL weekend to kick off the girls basketball season. Northridge and Carlisle were the SWBL schools, while TVS and TCN represented the CCC. North and South split games while Carlisle won both of theirs and Northridge ended the weekend winless. North drew Northridge on Friday night and quickly took the lead and established control of the game to start their season with a decisive win. North's Cassi Stinson lead all scorers with 20 points in the 52-40 victory.

The following night North played against Carlisle. North stumbled out of the gate in this game, but after coach Cherry adjusted at halftime the team acquitted themselves somewhat by playing even with the Indians. But they had spotted the team too big of lead to make up much ground and finally fell 46-16.

Both teams opened with man to man defenses, but Carlisle was able to knife through the Panther defense and score. North changed to a zone defense, but Carlisle shot well from the outside and their scoring continued unabated. Meanwhile the Indians were hitting the boards hard and pulling in defensive rebounds – limiting North to just one shot on most possessions in the first half. And Carlisle had scouted well on opening night. Stinson, who had put up 20 on opening night, was held in check by the swarming Indian defense and would not score a single point. The Panthers were staring up at a 16-2 deficit after just one quarter.

North did try to trap a little in the 2nd quarter, but the Indians handled the pressure well and so North settled back into their zone. At halftime, a shell shocked North team was down 29-6. But coach Cherry made some adjustments at half time and got the team back on track. In the second half the team rebounded better and more importantly got their defense working – holding Carlisle to just 3 points in the 3rd quarter and a total of 15 second half points.

Still the Panthers couldn't work out the kinks in their offense and scored just 10 in the last half. So that is something the team will need to figure out going forward. Still the team finished their opening weekend at .500.

Coach Cherry commented after the Carlisle game, “We didn't come out with our shooting game. Yesterday we shot the ball well, passed the ball well, and handled the ball well. We definitely did not do that today. We might have been a little tired from yesterday, we don't have a deep bench and our starters may have been a little tired.”

She continued, “We did shoot free throws well, and that carried over from Friday night, so that is a bright spot. Another thing we didn't do well from the previous night was assists. We had 14 against Northridge, but only 4 tonight.”

Next she was asked about the teams improved performance in the second half. “We talked to our wings about their backside defense coverage. Once we got them rotating right, they took away their short corner shots. We were not getting good positioning on rebounding and again we got the players to cover their spots, we picked up our rebounding as a team.”

Tiarra Alford scored 7, Sara Harris 5, Preston Lipinski 2, Riley Cruse 2. Next up for the Panthers are Milton Union on the 24th and Northeastern on the 30th.

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