POWDER SPRINGS — On Thursday night, the North Forsyth girls basketball team saw their 2016-17 season come to an end, giving the Lady Raiders an opportunity to look back on the campaign as a whole.
Head coach Eric Herrick just hopes that task isn’t colored too much by what happened on the court against McEachern in Powder Springs.
The Lady Indians, three-time defending state champions, smashed the Raiders 62-33 in the second round of the Class 7A state tournament. McEachern (23-6) pressured intensely, played with smoothness and style both in transition and half-court sets, and did so even when the game was clearly out of reach for North (21-8).
The Lady Raiders wanted to slow the game down and not let the Lady Indians’ pace affect them too much, but early turnovers forced them to can that strategy.
At the end of the first quarter, McEachern led 17-3.
“At that point, you’ve got to abandon that stall game and play basketball,” Herrick said.
North’s offense loosened up, but the defense couldn’t keep the Lady Raiders in it. The Lady Indians had three players finish with double-digit points, and freshman guard Caroline Martin was the only player to do that for North, scoring 12.
Thursday’s result aside, Herrick has plenty of positives to take away from the season, like the top-10 state ranking the team achieved, the win in the opening round of the state tournament and the fact that he did it all with a roster composed largely of non-seniors.
“We definitely let them know how successful the season was,” Herrick said. “And how we return every starter on our basketball team next year, and how next season starts tomorrow, and how we need to prepare every day to even surpass what we accomplished this year.”