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North Girls Off and Running
J. C. Tilton

The North girls have hit the ground running this season. They won their season opener Thanksgiving weekend and continued their winning ways this week. Tuesday they played at SouthEastern. North played their typical hustling defense and opportunistic offense and had a 9 point lead going into the fourth quarter. North did a better job of holding onto the lead this go around. SouthEastern still managed to make a run, but North fended them off and won by 6, 52-46.

Next they played against Bradford at home. Bradford leapt out early due to some hot shooting from the 3 point line. But North settled in and started contesting shots. Next they did some ˝ court trapping and were able to convert several steals for baskets. At halftime North had a healthy 10 point lead. Bradford tried to make a second half run but the rally fizzled. North won handily 55-41 and allowed some of the bench to get playing time in the last few minutes.

They ended their week this past Saturday at home against a fellow Preble County team, Preble Shawnee. Shawnee broke out to an early lead and had the advantage 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. The next quarter got off to a slow start as neither team scored until about the 4:30 mark when Sarah Whittaker connected on a free throw to break the drought. Also at this time, North used their half court trap to generate some turnovers. North made up ground in the part of the quarter and had a narrow 25-24 lead at the half.

The teams exchanged leads in the 3rd quarter, and North was up 40-38 as they entered the last quarter. Shawnee went on a 9 point run to start the quarter and North was staring at a 7 point deficit. But momentum swung back around to the Panthers when Gwen Davis, senior point guard for Shawnee fouled out. The Arrows lost her leadership and ball handling skills. Tiffany Daughtery hit two free throws to pull with in 5. Next Rachel Heindl completed an old fashioned three point play to pull the team within 2. Sarah Whittaker got a steal and layed it in to tie the score - 47 all. From there all the scoring was by foul shots. Rachel Heindl was fouled twice and connected to give North their final margin of victory 51-47. The team had gone on an exciting 11 point run for the victory.

Coach Freisthler was asked how it feels to be 4-0, “It feels really good, the girls have worked really hard for this. They really deserve it; it has been a long time for Tri-County North to have some wins under their belt this early.” Next she was asked about Sarah Whittaker who made some key steals down the stretch. “Sarah's job for us is defense. She is quick - the quickest person we have. She will hound any person that we put her on. Even though she is so small, she hustles and gets the rebounds. So often she is in the right place at the right time.”

The Shawnee coach, Deannah Reece, was asked about the game. “We played better defense than we have been. But we have to be able to hold onto a 7 point lead. Part of it was being selfish and not holding the ball back like I wanted. They have to be able to handle the ball for more than 2 seconds at a time. We have to close it out - we had the game won. We should have used the clock and been shooting free throws. We didn't do it and we didn't deserve to win, we just didn't play hard enough there at the end.” Next the coach was asked about Gwen Davis fouling out in the fourth quarter. “She is our leading player, our point guard. It wasn't so much losing her on offense, it was her poise and ball handling - she keeps the team settled down. We had to put a freshman into the game and we had the ball thrown away a few times.”

North finishes the week at 4-0, but they cannot relax next week with games against Middletown Madison and Franklin Monroe. Shawnee (1-2) has a busy week with games against Edgewood, Eaton, and Stivers. Comments:

email: Chris Tilton


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