Late rally not enough for Lady Vikings
by Doug Gorman
Northgate girls head basketball coach Matt Trucks will take the effort his team displayed Friday in three of its four quarters against Creekside anytime.
But it was the Lady Vikings’ third-period shooting slump that won’t make the end of the year highlight film, but worse yet, cost Northgate in a 50-41 Region 4B-AAAAA loss.
Northgate led 20-19 at the end of the first half, but fell into a major offensive drought in the third period, getting outscored 14-3 to to fall behind 33-23.
The loss dropped Northgate to 8-12 overall and 1-10 in region play. Creekside improved to 7-14 and 3-8.
“I told the girls we have to play hard for four quarters,” Trucks said. “We just didn’t do it tonight.”
Sydney Wells did her part to keep the Lady Vikings in the game scoring 18 points on six 3-pointers.
One of them early in third period gave Northgate its final lead of the game at 23-22, but was also the only basket the Lady Vikings hit in the period.
Instead, the team watched the Lady Seminoles close out the third quarter on an 11-0 run.
Creekside’s Taylor Barnett countered Wells’ long-range shot with a 3-pointer of her own to give the Lady Seminoles the lead for good at 25-23.
Baskets by Danielle Maeweather and Anna Watkins in the paint helped Creekside push its lead to double digits for the first time in the game.
Watkins led the way for the Lady Seminoles with 17 and Maeweather added 14.
In addition to Wells’ efforts from long-distance, Ebonee Echols helped her team stay in the game with hitting 3-pointers in the first and third quarters en route to a 15-point effort.
Wells continued to connect on the long-range jumpers in the fourth to spark Northgate’s comeback attempt.
The Lady Vikings junior guard buried three 3-pointers in a two-minute span to open the final period.
Wells’ final 3-pointer of the game cut the Creekside lead to 37-32, but that was as close as Northgate got to catch the Lady Seminoles.
Echols also went 6 of 9 from the free throw line in the final quarter, and Katie Mitchell hit the only field goal of the final period, but it wasn’t enough.
“It seems like we have trouble shooting in our own gym,” Trucks said. “On defense we gave up a little size to them too.”
Northgate opened the game clicking on all cylinders after taking an 11-8 lead.
Wells got her 3-point shooting started with a trey in the first period and Echols also answered with a 3-point shot to give the Lady Vikings the early momentum. Mitchell also had an first-quarter basket for Northgate while finishing with six points in the loss.
LADY SEMINOLES 50, LADY VIKINGS 41
Creekside 8 11 14 17—50
Northgate 11 9 3 18—41
CREEKSIDE—Barnett 9, Maeweather 14, Neal 2, Watkins 17, McCoughtry 6, Jones 2
NORTHGATE—Wells 18, Echols 15, Mitchell 6, Barrera 2.
In other girls action on Friday:
TRINITY CHRISTIAN 43, DOMINION CHRISTIAN 12: At home, the Lady Lions dominated the Region 1-AAA contest while improving to 1-2 and 8-8 overall behind 12 points from Sara Bryan and 11 from Ashley Caldwell.
HERITAGE SCHOOL 54, LOGANVILLE CHRISTIAN 32: On the road, the Lady Hawks allowed its most points since facing rival Trinity Christian on Jan. 10, but managed to put together an impressive second-half to put the clamps on host Loganville.
The Lady Hawks, which saw three players finish in double figures, outscored their opponents 22-7 in the third to grab a 39-26 lead heading into the final period.
Sisters Kara and Karlee Groover combined for 25 points, 18 rebounds and 15 steals with Karlee posting team- highs in points (13) and Kara in both rebounds (10) and steals (9).
Lillie Smith continued her return to full strength following an injury with 12 points while Amanda Windom added seven in the victory.
TRI-CITIES 53, NEWNAN 41: In East Point, the Lady Bulldogs earned revenge against Newnan less than a week after the Lady Cougars posted a 10-point victory over Tri-Cities at home.
Friday’s effort was the first region victory of the season for the Lady Bulldogs, who are now 1-4 and 7-7 overall.
The loss dropped Newnan’s girls to 2-4 in Region 3-AAAAAA and 6-15 overall.
HUGHES 54, EAST COWETA 30: The Lady Indians struggled to keep up with a Hughes lineup that has reeled off five unanswered victories since its only Region 3-AAAAAA loss to Westlake.
East Coweta fell to 1-4 in Region 3-AAAAAA and 3-7 overall while the Lady Panthers improved to 18-2 and 4-1.