Winners of just one of 14 games heading into the contest, the Lady Warriors pulled out a 45-41 victory over Grace Christian, which coupled with a 64-33 victory by their boys’ team, gave Northside a sweep in their Homecoming and momentum heading into the second half of their season.
“This was a very big win for us,” said Northside coach Tracie Clement after the victory. “The girls really worked well tonight as a team. They came out with a lot of determination and they weren’t settling for a loss. We just kept picking away and picking away until we finally walked away with a victory.”
It wasn’t easy.
The Lady Warriors took a slim 35-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter and went up 42-37 four minutes into the frame.
Each team went scoreless for the following two minutes and Northside was able to force four jump balls during that time.
The Lady Warriors stalled the ball for most of the quarter before taking a 44-39 advantage with just under two minutes to go on a running floater in the lane by Tori Clement.
Clement added two free throws in the final seconds to put the game out of reach.
“Our goal in the fourth quarter was to kind of slow down the tempo of the game,” said Clement. “We wanted to take some time off the clock. We did a good job of spreading the floor and when they had an opening, they executed the offense and scored.”
Clement was especially pleased with her team’s hustle in the fourth quarter.
“We were all over the court,” said Clement. “Every opportunity we had to get our hands the ball, we did it. They really got in there and fought for the ball and it did cost us a few fouls, but it allowed us to extend our lead a little.”
Northside jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter lead behind two 3-pointers from Samantha Hoffpauir.
However, Grace went on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter and took a 15-12 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the half.
Northside answered with an 8-2 run of its own behind six points from Clement to take a 20-17 advantage at the break.
“We kind of got relaxed on defense and we weren’t blocking out real well which allowed them to take the lead,” said Clement of the start of the second quarter. “But we addressed that problem at the half and they rectified it.”
Grace made a run in the third quarter but it was offset by Hoffpauir, who scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the frame.
Northside used a balanced offensive attack in the victory, placing six players in the scoring column. Hoffpauir and Clement each hit double figures with 16 and 12 points, respectively, while Natalie Hayes added seven. Julie Roosa followed with six points, Madisyn Clenet added four and Maddison Conrad scored one.
Hillary Goudeau paced Grace with 14 points and Kate Johnson scored 13.
The boys’ game wasn’t nearly as close.
Northside (13-7) took control early, jumping out to 26-4 advantage in the first quarter before extending its cushion to 36-11 at the break.
Grace outscored Northside 9-8 in the third frame before the Warriors closed the game on a 20-13 run in the final stanza.
Pierce Rivera led the Warriors with 21 points. He also pulled down 12 rebounds to go along with one blocked shot and two steals.
Ben Rogers and Grant William followed with 10 points each. Rogers also finished with six assists and two steals.
Kade Miller added seven points in the victory while Randy LeBleu and Josh Wheeler each scored four and Nick Zaunbrecher, Nick Gotte, Joe Trahan and B.J. Starks each scored two.
Northside will be in action again Tuesday when both teams travel to Centerville for a non-district contest.