In front of a packed house, the Colonel Crawford girls’ basketball team was able to rally past visiting Northmor Friday night in claiming a 48-39 decision.
Northmor led 23-21 at the half, but the Eagles took an 18-6 advantage in the third quarter to take a lead they would not surrender down the stretch.
“I thought we hit some shots and got some steals,” said Colonel Crawford coach Kyle Fenner of that decisive eight-minute stretch. “We talked in the locker room at half that the third quarter was important.”
CC’s defense proved to be key in that quarter. Northmor was held to only three Reagan Swihart free throws over the first 5:55 of the quarter, allowing the Eagles to embark on a 12-3 run. Mallory Plesac hit a pair of shots during that stretch, while Allison Weithman added a three-pointer.
Brooke Dennison would connect from long range to bring Northmor within a 33-29 count with 2:05 left in the third, but the Eagles finished on a 6-0 run that included a three-pointer by Corin Feik and a bucket by Niyah Shipman.
“The third quarter just killed us,” said Northmor coach Freddie Beachy. “We have a lot of experience, but have a young point guard and a couple young kids. We’ll get better. I guarantee it. We just had way too many turnovers.”
The first two quarter were back-and-forth.
After a Dennison three-pointer opened the game for Northmor, the Eagles got four points by Plesac on the way to moving in front 6-3. The Golden Knights quickly bounced back, getting two points from both Emilee Jordan and Lexi Wenger to regain the lead; however, a three-pointer from Weithman and two points from Kaylyn Risner put the home team up 11-7 after eight minutes.
Four points by Wenger tied the game early in the second quarter, but an 8-2 run by the Eagles sparked by three-pointers from Emma Valentine and Weithman staked them to a 19-13 lead.
Northmor would control the final three minutes of the quarter to take an advantage into the half. Wenger scored seven points during a 10-point run, while Dennison added a three-pointer. While CC finished the half with a bucket by Feik, the Golden Knights still led by two going into the intermission.
Northmor’s outside shooting played a big role in their early success in a game that saw them hit six times from behind the arc — something that did not surprise Beachy.
“They’ve practiced really hard,” said the coach of his players. “In June and July what we worked on was shooting and they all have gotten better.”
However, the team was not able to hit in the third quarter. Despite taking a 10-9 advantage in the fourth quarter, they would not be able to overcome the 10-point deficit they faced going into the final period.
Wenger tallied 17 points to lead all scorers on the night, while Dennison added nine on her three three-pointers. For Colonel Crawford, Risner scored 14 — seven in the fourth quarter — while Weithmann had nine on three three-pointers and Plesac added eight.
For the Eagles, Fenner was happy to both get a win and to also see a large crowd in the stands.
“It’s always good to get the first one,” she said. “We knew it’d be a tough, physical game. We didn’t have a lot of big crowds last year, so it was nice having people in the stands.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS