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Basketball: Shope sets record for North girls in rout over Chestatee
North Forsyth's Catherine Shope celebrates with Raiders' boys basketball team after exiting a game against Chestatee during which she broke a school record by making 11 three-pointers. - photo by Brian Paglia

Eric Herrick was going to give Catherine Shope one more shot.

The North Forsyth girls basketball team had already pulled away from Chestatee heading into the fourth quarter on Friday night, leading 68-26, and Shope had contributed 33 points and hit nine three-pointers by that point.

That left her tied for the program’s single-game record for threes. Herrick would give Shope a chance for the record, and he had a sub ready at the scorers’ table in case she missed. 

Shope drained her next attempt to break the record, prompting an especially loud round of cheers from the Raiders’ bench. Less than 30 seconds later, she pulled up at the left wing and drained another one. 

"I didn't want her to make two," North head coach Eric Herrick said of Shope. "But she scores quick."

That was the last of Shope’s 39 points in the game, and minutes later, the Raiders (4-1) had a 77-31 victory in hand.

This Raiders group already had strong athleticism and experience in the group coming back from last year’s team, and with the addition of Shope, a Reinhardt commit in her first year at North after playing three seasons at The King’s Academy in the GICAA, they gained a player who so far looks like one of the best shooters in the county. 

"Catherine is the one kid on our team who is always looking to score," Herrick said.

Shope’s single-game high for threes before coming to North was six, and she equaled that total, scoring 27 in all, in the Raiders’ 56-46 win over Johnson on Nov. 25. 

She scored North’s first five points on Friday, and her treys kept going in, so she kept shooting. By halftime, she had 25 points and had beaten her personal best with seven three-pointers. 

"Every time I caught it, I was determined to shoot," Shope said.

She scored eight more in the third quarter to get within reach of the record. Shope realized that she was about to be subbed out right after she broke the record, so when she got the chance to put up one more shot, there was no other option.

It wasn’t even a shot Shope normally takes: She had to dribble free of a double team to get the shot off. 

"No matter how far the defense is off, if I'm on, I'm going to shoot it," Shope said. "You'd better believe it."

Cassie Markle, who scored 10 points, was the only other North player in double digits. The Raiders also broke a team record for three-pointers in a single game, with 18.

North Forsyth boys 62, Chestatee 59

The North Forsyth boys basketball team got its second win of the year on Friday, prevailing in a tight matchup that was low on fouls. 

The Raiders took a 16-11 lead over the War Eagles after the first quarter, but Chestatee narrowed that lead to 27-26 at halftime and entered the fourth quarter with a 45-44 lead. The War Eagles expanded that lead and were up 55-48 with just over four minutes to play, but North scored five of the games' next six baskets and took a 58-57 lead on Trevor Elliott's bucket with 1:41 to play. 

North Forsyth's Jonathan Pefanis goes up for a layup during the Raiders' game against Chestatee on Dec. 1, 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia
North was up 60-59 with under a minute to play and still had five fouls left until it would enter the bonus, so the action slowed to a crawl as the War Eagles hacked away at the Raiders' dribblers. Jonathan Pefanis was North's first player to go to the line in the final minute, and while he missed his first shot, Chestatee turned it over and was forced to foul Braden Collins, who hit both of his shots. 

Cooper Wilson had a look at a long three at the buzzer for the War Eagles, but the shot bounced off the rim. Collins led the Raiders with 15 points, and Michael Ray Hyams was second with 14.