Northwood’s girls basketball team is ready for the challenge of playing in the 3A Big-8 Conference, says coach Cameron Vernon.
The Chargers certainly looked good in meeting a 4A opponent last week. Playing at Cary’s Panther Creek on Tuesday, Northwood trailed briefly, 19-17 at halftime, but proceeded to pull away in the fourth quarter and scored the game’s last 14 points to win 43-29.
Northwood, one of the top 2A teams in the state over the past two seasons, made it to the NCHSAA regionals in 2011 and the third round in 2012.
Now, the Chargers face a tough task moving to 3A. Northwood now shares a league with the reigning 3A state runnerup (Chapel Hill), the defending PAC-6 champion (Southern Durham, having moved down from 4A) and formidable programs in Cedar Ridge and Cardinal Gibbons.
This seasons definitely going to be a challenge for us going from 2A to 3A and thats why weve scheduled Panther Creek, Vernon said.
“They gave us everything they had tonight, and I have to give them credit because they really pushed us Every night is going to be a difficult game. We have to bring our ‘A’ game every night in this league, but that’s what makes it fun.
Chargers point guard Shontai Totten exploded for 11 of her game-high 16 points in the final two quarters.
The Chargers also got 10 points from Kristian Eanes, six from Jasmine Harris, five from Moriah Morrow, four from Eboni Watson and two from Jazanae Billings.
Marissa Sims, who didn’t play varsity last year, led Panther Creek with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Sophomore Caila Sprull (nine points), freshman Gabby Rogers (six), junior Kate Ulveling (two) and junior Anna Huryn (two) rounded out the scoring.
“I liked our effort. We faced some adversity and pulled it back 19-19 (in the third quarter),” Panther Creek coach Daniell Moore said. “It’s all in the growing process.”
After a sloppy first half, Northwood took better care of the ball in the last two periods cutting down turnovers from 18 to eight limiting how much Panther Creek could run.
J. Mike Blake, the Cary News