Northmor girls basketball coach Daryl Uhde couldn’t hide his disappointment after the Lady Knights dropped a Mid Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division game to the Elgin Comets, 41-35.
“That would have been a huge win, Elgin is what, second in the league,” said Uhde. “Obviously we’re disappointed at losing the game but the chance to have a huge win for the program…”
Northmor used a perimeter attack to confound the Lady Comets and take a 24-15 lead in what Uhde called “one of our best first half’s of the year.”
The offensive, dubbed “four to score” by Uhde,” is designed “to spread the floor, four on perimeter with penetration in the middle and a kick.”
The Lady Knights out-hustled Elgin and forced them into poor shots throughout the half.
The Lady Knights took a 5-0 lead on a pair of baskets by Karalee Patterson, who led Northmor with 16 points, and extended their lead to 15-11 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Lady Knight game plan was to utilize their quickness to effectively negate the Lady Comets strength, their post play.
“We’re small and we had to force them to come out and play defense on the perimeter,” Uhde said.
Meredith Cocherl and Josi Wolf were held to a total of two points in the half and six points in the game. That statistic wasn’t lost on Elgin head coach Bill McElroy who said “we lacked an inside game, that pair (Cocherl and Wolf) average between 17-18 points per game on the season.”
Northmor also benefited from a loosely officiated first half, only seven fouls were called on both teams, much to the dismay of McElroy.
Seniors Taylor Wolf and Kadi Vermillion stepped up in the second half as the Lady Comets cut the lead to 31-26 in the third quarter.
The two were the only players to score in the period. Vermillion, who finished with 11 points, made her second 3-point basket of the game and sank a pair of free throws. Wolf hit a pair of 3-point buckets and stepped up her overall effort.
Wolf, who converted to point guard this season, finished with a team high 14 points and added six steals and four deflections.
“She’s a post that we made a point guard,” McElroy said. “She struggled all year, but the last three or four games she’s been great. I couldn’t ask for more, she’s all over the floor.”
Elgin took advantage of unforced turnovers and ran the Lady Knights out of the gym in the fourth quarter, outscoring Northmor 15-4.
“We threw the ball away, unforced turnovers,” Uhde said.
Northmor’s offensive drought was aided by a more tightly officiated second half that forced the Lady Knights to play large segments of the half without Patterson, who was in foul trouble.
The effect of not having Patterson in the lineup made a huge difference for the Lady Knights.
“She’s our leading scorer, so when we lose her, scoring wise we lose a lot,” said Uhde.
Northmor’s offense became stagnant and looked confused without Patterson.
“We wanted to keep the clock running and get the game over while we were ahead,” Uhde said. “We told the girls to run the clock but look to score. If you’re on balance and open shoot, if not keep doing it.”
Northmor led for most of the game, surrendering the lead at the 4:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
With Patterson fouling out at the 3:39 mark the Lady Comets were able to take advantage and salt away the win at the free throw line.
Northmor drops to 5-5 in the MOAC Blue Division and 7-7 overall while Elgin moves to 7-2 in the MOAC Blue Division and 9-7 overall.
Northmor will host the Lucas Cubs on Jan 19.