HENDERSON — The first time Tamia Eatmon visited Northern Vance High School, she ended up with a concussion that ruined her first year with the Chapel Hill High School girls varsity basketball team.
Last year was better. She contributed 8 points in a 101-27 win against the Lady Vikings in 2013, helping Chapel Hill set a team scoring record.
Last Friday provided her with the opportunity to make her own mark. Eatmon recorded her first triple double 16 points, 13 steals, 10 assists as Chapel Hill defeated Northern Vance 100-17.
This does make me feel better about this place, Eatmon said later, watching the CHHS boys team head toward its own 50-40 win Friday. Coming back my freshman year was really hard. My sophomore year, I kept remembering it. Tonight, I just tried to come out and play and not think about it at all.
Eatmon was 8-for-8 from the field Friday, helping the Tigers (12-0 overall, 3-0 in the Big Eight) set a team record for margin of victory.
She played really well, Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris said. She was on fire in the first half and just got all those steals. She took the ball to the basket really aggressively.
Eatmon scored 12 points on transition baskets in the first half. Chapel Hill led 28-4 after one quarter, 39-4 midway through the second quarter and 55-8 at halftime.
I have said all along that if Tamia had not suffered that concussion on this very court in January her freshman year, we probably would have won the states that year, said Norris, who guided Chapel Hill to last years 3A state finals.
When she went out with that concussion, that really hurt us, because she really has a terrific first step and can rebound and score inside. She is 5-5, but plays like she is 6 feet tall because she is so smart and so heady.
Every Tiger available Friday played within the first 10 minutes of the mismatch.
Eatmon was one of five players scoring in double figures. Jessica Wall, who hit all three of her 3-point tries, led all scorers with 17 points. Raziyah Farrington added 15 points, Jamella Smith 13 and Catherine Romaine 10.
Sophomore Autumn West contributed 9 points and 5 steals, while classmate Mariah Jacobs had 6 points and 5 assists.
I told my team before the game that Chapel Hill has to be one of the top teams in the state if not THE top team, so we need to take this as a learning experience, Northern Vance coach Randolph Crews said.
They do a good job playing man-to-man. They force you to one side and then they trap you. That next pass has to be good. You make a shot and you get excited and you dont get back they score. They just do what good teams do.
Norris was pleased that her team showed no signs of a hangover following the previous weekends championship run in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational. Their performance included a 57-40 win against 4A Hillside, which had beaten Chapel Hill by 52 points the last time they had played as conference rivals in 2009.
She gave the Tigers five days off after their 60-55, overtime win Saturday against West Forsyth in the HSOT finals, bringing them back together Friday morning for a shoot-around at the CHHS gym and then pizza at her house.
It (the HSOT title) shows that we can play with anyone in the state, Norris said. For us to be able to compete with and beat good 4A schools says a lot about our team.