Northmor made a run near the end of the first quarter to claim a 13-8 lead over the Highland girls after eight minutes and never looked back in winning by a 52-39 margin to improve to 4-7, 3-4 in league play. The host Scots fall to 6-4, 5-2.
For the Golden Knights, it was their third win in their last four outings — a fact that pleased coach Freddy Beachy after his team got out to a slow start.
“We struggled starting out early in the year,” he said. “We changed a few things, changed our offensive scheme and I think they’re buying into it.”
The game was close in the early minutes, as four points by Madison Cecil helped keep Highland within a 9-8 score late in the opening period, despite the Golden Knights getting five from Addie Farley. However, Northmor finished the period with back-to-back buckets from Macy Miracle and Farley to lead by five.
They followed that up by opening the second with baskets from Farley and Lexi Winger, increasing their advantage to a 17-8 margin. While Highland got a score from Peyton Carpenter and a three-pointer from Cecil, they still trailed 20-13 at the half.
Highland coach Whitney Levering Smith noted her team’s problems in the game were easy to diagnose: They struggled with both shooting the ball and keeping their opponents off the offensive glass.
“Two things — we shot 19 percent and you can’t win games shooting like that and we can’t let them have offensive rebounds. We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. It looked like they were still caught up in New Year’s and not here.”
With the score 21-15 in the third quarter, Northmor got a free throw from Julianna Ditullio, followed by another three by Farley and a basket from Reagan Swihart to increase their lead to a 27-15 score. While the Scots got a spark from Savannah Fitzpatrick, who drilled back-to-back three-pointers to make it a six-point game, the Golden Knights were able to finish the period on a high note, getting five points from Farley to help them take a 34-25 lead going into the fourth.
Northmor maintained their advantage over the first few minutes of the quarter, with a Wenger three putting them up 43-32 with four minutes remaining. However, a three-pointer by Brooklyn Baird sparked a 5-0 run that made it a six-point game with just over two minutes left.
Highland would not be able to keep that run going, though. Swihart connected from three-point range and Wenger hit a basket and free throw to start a 9-0 run that sealed the game for Northmor.
Beachy said that the winter break didn’t affect his team because their schedule was loaded with games during that time.
“They were off for the week, but we played four times and practiced every day,” he said. “They didn’t have time to sit around and get rusty — they’ve been in the swing.”
Farley, who hit three times from long range, led Northmor with 20 points. Both Ditullio and Wenger scored 10. For Northmor, Cecil connected on three threes and scored 13, while Fitzpatrick had eight.
After the game, Levering Smith noted that her team will next have a big game at home with Danville Saturday — a team they edged on the road early in the year.
“We have Danville next and it’s a huge game,” she said. “We played them the first game of the season. We just have to go out and put the ball in the hoop and do a better job of everyone playing collectively together.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS