The Northmor girls’ basketball team recovered from a Highland second quarter run to put together a dominant second half in taking a 53-36 road decision.
The Scots trailed by 10 early in the second quarter, but controlled the action in that period — utilizing a 16-point run to lead 25-24 at the intermission. However, Northmor rebounded from that deficit to outscore their Morrow County rivals 29-11 over the final 16 minutes and improve to 1-1. Highland falls to 0-2.
Highland coach Matt Bradley felt his team’s inability to maintain possession of the ball in the third quarter set the stage for the Golden Knights to pull away.
“They did a really nice job going to that zone,” he said. “They forced us to pass around it. Unfortunately, we passed it right to them a lot of times. I think what hurt use in the third was that we allowed them to get offensive rebounds. For us to not be able to rebound in the third really hurt us.”
Northmor coach Freddie Beachy was pleased with his team’s second half performance, especially since a bad third quarter proved to be the difference in their season-opening loss at Colonel Crawford.
“It wasn’t a real good first game in the second half, so we stressed that the first three minutes of the third quarter were very important,” he said. “We wanted to come out with high energy and I think we did.”
Northmor rode the long ball to an early lead. Two three-pointers by Paige Caudill, as well as one each by Brooke Dennison and Lexi Wenger staked the team to a 15-7 advantage after eight minutes.
Caudill would score from inside the arc to make it a 10-point game early in the second, but Highland would then wake up. Back-to-back threes from Brylinn Tuggle and Guinevere Jackson brought the team within four. After Emma West cut the Golden Knight advantage to 17-15, Tuggle scored eight straight points to put her team in front 23-17.
Northmor would respond with seven straight, but a West score off an offensive rebound sent Highland to the locker room with a one-point lead.
That advantage would not last. Dennison, who set most of the first half with two fouls, came out and hit a pair of early threes to help Northmor jump back in front 32-25. While Jackson connected from three to make it 32-28, the Scots would only score two more points in the quarter, in part due to Dennison’s defense, which caused a number of turnovers.
“She’s just got athletic ability,” said Beachy. “She reads the passing lanes well. She’s only a sophomore in her first full year of varsity. I think she’ll just get better. If she gets better, we’ll all get better.”
Holding a 40-30 lead going into the final period, the Golden Knights opened the fourth with seven straight points — five from Dennison — to open up a 17-point lead, which they would maintain until the end.
“We told them after the game Friday, don’t let one loss define your season,” said Beachy. “We talked about what we did wrong and I think we corrected it. Everybody played today and they all know when you get in, you have to perform.”
Both Dennison (14 points) and Caudill (13) hit three time from long range in the game. Wenger added nine for Northmor. Highland got 13 points from Tuggle and 12 on four three-pointers by Jackson.
In his second game coaching the Lady Scots, Bradley likes what he has.
“It’s a great group of girls,” he said. “They’re extremely coachable and hungry to get better. We know it’s a process. We’ll come back tomorrow and watch film and get better every day.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS