Northern sweeps PAC-6 twinbill from visiting East Chapel Hill
East Chapel Hill tried its best to slow down Northern on Friday night but the Knights prevailed 59-37 thanks to good outside shooting and defense.
Ricky Council led the way with 20 points, including four 3-pointers for the Knights (13-1, 2-0 PAC-6), who are off to their best start for fifth-year coach Ronnie Russell
Northern’s girls (8-5, 2-0) also won as Rhianna Council scored 13. Nothern got off to a solid start in the PAC-6 and won their third straight overall.
Northern’s boys made seven 3s in the game but East Chapel Hill was content to stay back in a zone defense for most of the game. In the fourth quarter the Wildcats used full-court pressure in a comeback attempt but Northern’s lead was too large to overcome.
Russell said he expected East Chapel Hill to try to slow the game down and he was happy with the way his players responded to the slower tempo.
“That was the first time we’ve seen anybody stay in a zone as much as they did,” Russell said. “I thought we attacked it really well. Going in, that’s the way (East Chapel Hill) plays. They want to keep it under a certain number of points because if they can, they think they have a better chance to win.”
Northern didn’t let East Chapel Hill’s defense dictate more than the pace of the game. The Knights jumped out to a 20-13 first quarter lead and used its own defensive pressure in the second and third quarters to build an insurmountable lead.
East Chapel Hill coach Ray Hartsfield said Northern did good job of turning the tables on his team.
“Everybody who plays Northern is going to be challenged,” Hartsfield said. “I felt we did a good job of getting them to play in the 50s but defensively they what we like to do away from us. They got some separation and then they defended us well.”
East Chapel Hill (7-7, 1-1) was limited to seven points in each of those quarters and fell behind 52-27. Northern built its largest lead of 27 points with 6:11 left in the game on a bucket by Kentrell Barkley, who scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Robert Wilson led East Chapel Hill with 17 points and was the only Wildcat in double figures.
In the girls’ game, Northern held off a furious fourth-quarter rally by East Chapel Hill.
“As ugly as we played, and East Chapel Hill never gave up, a win is a win and we were lucky to get out,” Northern coach Pam Adams said. “We made our free throws and did what we needed to do at the end to win but it was ugly.”
Northern led 35-22 going into the final period but the Wildcats fought back to tie the game at 35-apiece when Johnson hit a 3 from the left wing with 4:01 left.
Northern rebuilt a four-point lead that it held almost the rest of the way. Johnson did come back with another 3 with 33 seconds left to make the score 44-43, but Northern never relinquished the lead.
Kolby Snipes hit one of two free throws with under 30 seconds left in the game. She then she got free for a layup after an East Chapel Hill turnover with 20 to play to put the game out of reach and keep the Wildcats (5-7, 0-2) winless in the conference.
Northern 59, East Chapel Hill 37
East Chapel Hill |13 |7 |7 |10 — 37
Northern |20 |11 |21 |7 — 59
EAST CHAPEL HILL — Arkavius Parks 6, Tykeem Woodard 4, Carter Collins 6, Robert Wilson 17, Lawyer Dallas 4
NORTHERN — T.J. Crutchfield 6, Dillon Leovic 2, Jaquan Harris 8, Emmett Tilley 4, Kentrell Barkley 15, T.J. Bell 2, Ricky Council 20, Jamal Goodlow 2.
3-Point goals—East Chapel Hill 4 (Parks 2, Collins 2). Northern 7 (Harris 2, Barkley, Council 4). Rebounds—East Chapel Hill 21 (Dallas 8), Northern 27 (Barkley 8). Assists—East Chapel Hill 6 (Parks 2, Quincey McDuffie 2), Northern 18 (Council 6).
Records—East Chapel Hill 7-7, 1-1 PAC-6. Northern 13-1, 2-0 PAC-6.
Northern 47, East Chapel Hill 43
East Chapel Hill |4 |18 |4 |17—43
Northern |17 |10 |8 |12—47
EAST CHAPEL HILL — Ali Cyr-Scully 7, T.J. Johnson 21, Grace Haley 3, Sarah Towne 8, Adorable Bigelow 4.
NORTHERN — Jea’Quaishia Chavis 6, Madison Taylor 8, Kolby Snipes 9, Rhianna Council 13, Megan Pleasants 7, Andrea Graham 2, Remy Simmons 2
3-Point goals—East Chapel Hill 3 (Johnson 3), Northern 1 (Council 1).
Records—East Chapel Hill 5-7, 0-2 PAC-6, Northern 8-5, 2-0 PAC-6.