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Basketball: North girls can't get shots to fall late in loss to Northview
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North Forsyth's Caroline Martin rises for a contested layup during the Raiders' game against Northview on Nov. 27, 2018 at North Forsyth High School. - photo by Ian Frazer

Facing a talented Northview team at home, the North Forsyth girls basketball team was matching their opponents’ every move, with the game tied at 40-40 with just over three minutes to play.

Northview made a free throw to go up one, and just seconds later, the Raiders’ deficit increased to three after a quick putback from the Titans. Heated, North Forsyth coach Eric Herrick called timeout.

“That put us in a bad situation,” he said. “We had five or six great looks, late but the shots have got to fall.”

Unfortunately for North, those late shots to tie or inch closer didn’t go, and the Raiders ultimately fell to to the bigger Titans 49-40 on Tuesday night.

“They’re better than us,” Herrick said. “You look at them, they’re 6’2, 6’1 all across the board. I thought our kids competed their butts off.”

In the first few minutes of the game, the Raiders allowed three shots from behind the arc to get into a 9-0 hole. Letting the Titans shoot to focus on jamming them inside was part of the game plan, but having them convert three-pointers on their first three possessions was not.

“Coach Herrick said at practice on Sunday, ‘They’re so big, we’re going to let them shoot. We’ll give them that — we don’t want to get destroyed on the post,’ junior guard Ansley Allen said. “We knew they weren’t going to make every single 3 down the floor all night.”

Vekondja Ogbogu notched the Raiders’ first points with a layup, which began a 9-0 run for North that tied the game with 1:10 left until the second quarter. The Titans entered the second with a slim 12-9 advantage.

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North Forsyth's Ansley Allen pursues Northview's Asjah Inniss during the teams' game on Nov. 27, 2018 at North Forsyth High School. - photo by Ian Frazer
The two teams battled back and fourth in the second quarter, with the Raiders moving to a 20-16 lead with a 3 from Ali Jones with 5:49 left until halftime. Caroline Martin added her first points of the night on a 3 to put North back in the lead at 27-23. North held a slim 29-26 lead going into the break.

“We gave ourselves a puncher’s chance, knocking down some shots in the first half, and the shots just didn’t fall in the second half,” Herrick said.

Northview held a 36-34 advantage heading into the final frame, but another Martin trey put North in the lead again with seven minutes to play. After the game was tied at 40, though, the Raiders didn’t score again.

After losing six seniors, five with significant playing time, along with losing forward Kate Perryman to full-time volleyball, the Raiders are still in their adjustment period. But looking at the kinds of squads they’ve lost to, reigning state semifinalists.

“We’re definitely adjusting to it, but the two teams we lost to, Cherokee and Northview, you’re talking about the No. 3 team in 7A and the No. 3 team in 6A,” Herrick said. “We were in those until the end, so I’m not real concerned.” 

Martin finished with a team-leading 10 points for the Raiders, with seven coming in the second half.

North boys 46, Northview 36

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North Forsyth's Nolan Hoefling guards Northview's Preston Berryman during the teams' game on Nov. 27, 2018 at North Forsyth High School. - photo by Ian Frazer

North's boys earned their second win of the season in a low-scoring affair against the Titans. The Raiders led Northview 13-7 at halftime and held the advantage for most of the contest, but began to pull away late by taking advantage of open looks from beyond the three-point line.

Canon Jackson hit a 3 with two minutes left in the third, and Bennett Helms connected at the buzzer to end the Raiders' third quarter up 28-21. 

Cory Seitz led North with 14 points against the Titans. Jackson finished with six.