TIGERS CLAW HORNETS
Wins by Chapel Hill over Hillside have been rare but the Tigers earned one with a 57-40 victory on Wednesday in the opening round of the girls’ bracket of the High School OT Invitational at Cary Academy.
Raziyah Farrington led a balanced Chapel Hill attack with 12 points, while Tamia Eatmon scored 11 and Jamella Smith finished with 10.
The Tigers, who last played Hillside four years ago when they each were in the PAC-6, did not allow Hillside’s patented pressure defense to take over the game. Instead, it was Chapel Hill that turned up the pressure on the Hornets.
Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris remarked that the last time she faced Hillside it was a runaway in the Hornets’ favor.
“They won by a lot and they haven’t changed the way they play,” Norris said. “They are going to press and you have to be ready to beat it.”
Chapel Hill served notice by winning the opening tip and immediately converting for a score. Then the Tigers rode that momentum in building a working margin despite piling up a lot of early fouls.
Hillside coach Ovester Grays said his team just wasn’t able to get into a good defensive flow against Chapel Hill.
“We weren’t communicating very well and they were able to take advantage of our defensive mistakes,” Grays said. “Our rotation wasn’t good and they got a lot of run outs that we couldn’t stop.”
Chapel Hill built a 16-12 lead to end the first quarter. And in the second, the Tigers were able to extend it to 28-21 halftime advantage. Hillside made a slight run in the third quarter to get within two points one time but the Chapel Hill pushed their lead back out.
Chapel Hill (9-0) finished off the fourth quarter with another strong effort behind Eatmon, who had eight of her 11 points in the final period .
Norris said she was proud of the way her team responded to Hillside’s pressure and it should help build confidence going forward into the season.
Tykyrah Williams led Hillside with a game-high 20 points and Justine Lyon added 11 but the rest of the team combined only for nine points.
In suffering only their second loss, Grays said the Hornets (5-2) will have a lot to learn from this game.
Chapel Hill will play West Craven today at 2:30 p.m. in the winners’ bracket, while Hillside will take on Cary at 10 a.m. in the consolation bracket.
CHAPEL HILL 57, HILLSIDE 40
Chapel Hill 16 12 9 20 —57
Hillside 12 9 10 9 — 40
CHAPEL HILL — Tamia Eaton 11, Taylor Peaden 2, Autumn West 4, Mariah Jacobs 3, Jessica Wall 3, Raziyah Farrington 12, Catherine Romaine 9, Jamella Smith 12, Jasmine Suitt 3.
HILLSIDE — Tykyrah Williams 20, Justine Lyon 11, Zuri White 2, Amanda Lawrence 3, Brianna Powell 4.
3-Point goals—Chapel Hill 1 (Jacobs). Hillside 2 (Williams, Lyon). Rebounds—Chapel Hill 24 (Smith 6), Hillside 35 (White 8). Assists—Chapel Hill 13 (Eatmon 4), Hillside 5 (White 2).
Records—Chapel Hill 9-0, Hillside 5-2.