The Northmor girls basketball team, playing in its final regular season game, took advantage of eight Centerburg turnovers in the fourth quarter and posted a 36-30 win over host Centerburg for Senior Day on Saturday.
It was a game won on perseverance, not style.
“We didn’t play well, but we gutted it out,” said Northmor head coach Darrel Uhde. “We played hard –we came through when we had to.”
Northmor came in rested, following a full-week off from its win over Highland. That may have hurt the Lady Knights.
“Normally if our two leading scores (Patterson and Swihart) don’t shoot like they usually do, yet we still won the game, that makes me really happy,” Uhde said.
Spurred on by a large and enthusiastic home crowd, the Lady Trojans opened the game with the lead and held on to it until the 3:48 minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Centerburg was the aggressor for the first half and a majority of the third quarter. Using patience and their size advantage the Lady Trojans pounded the ball inside, getting offensive rebounds and scoring on second chance points.
The Lady Trojans ended each of the game’s first three quarters with the lead, 10-5, 21-19 and 29-27.
Northmor was never in sync in the first half.
“Nothing was flowing in the first half,” Uhde said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well-we didn’t play our best.”
Northmor came out in the second half and got after it on defense, forcing Centerburg into 12 turnovers and holding the Lady Trojans to only one point in the game’s final quarter.
Northmor’s Christianna Boggs hit a three-point shot with 4:56 left to play to tie the contest 30-30. Boggs scored six points in the game.
“Tiny (Boggs) made a couple of three’s, (and) she hadn’t played in seven weeks,” said Uhde.
Northmor took the lead for good at the 1:58 mark of the game on Maddie Swihart’s free throw.
The Lady Knights extended the lead on a Patterson layup following a Swihart steal. Patterson added a three-point bucket to put Northmor up 36-30 with under 1:00 in the game.
Patterson’s late game heroics looked in doubt following a loose ball collision that forced her to the bench midway through the fourth quarter.
“Patterson has had a hip pointer all season and anytime she gets hit it causes pain,” Uhde said.
“This was a great win; I don’t care if we win by one or 20,” Uhde said. “I made this game big because I think we’re going to be tied for third in our division (after the win). We’re 12-10, guaranteed of a winning season. I put ‘pride’ on the board: 9-5, winning season and pride in school.”
The Lady Knights, who defeated Centerburg by six points in early January at Northmor, handed the Lady Trojans their third consecutive loss in the last five days.
Northmor was led by Karalee Patterson, who is averaging 14.7 points per game in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division, scored 16 in the game, eight in each half.
Maddie Swihart added five points for Northmor.
Sidney Fields and Halie Stoyle each scored eight points for Centerburg.
The two teams may meet again in a Division III Sectional game. Northmor will face the winner of Centerburg and Elgin on Feb. 20 with the location yet to be determined.
Northmor ends the regular season at 9-5 in the MOAC Blue Division and 12-10 overall.