Tuesday night, the North Forsyth girls again showed why they’ve been ranked in the top five in Class AAAAAA for much of this season. North never trailed and built a 17-point halftime lead en route to a 56-44 home win over Lambert.
It was the kind of balanced, assured effort North (16-2 overall, 10-1 Region 6-AAAAAA) has made so routine over the last two years. The Lady Raiders opened on a 13-3 run: Morgan Grindle (six points), freshman guard Kate Ware (making her first start) and Sydney Pefanis each hit 3-pointers, Okwunne Ogbogu added a layup and Lochlain Corliss hit two free throws.
“We prepared all week knowing Lambert would go mostly zone against us and added a new wrinkle to the offense that’s pretty hard to guard, with constant movement to make them account for all five players,” North coach Eric Herrick said.
North’s offense had stagnated in a 39-32 win at Lambert on Dec. 2, but not Tuesday; the Lady Raiders had 31 points at halftime, right where they wanted to be, Herrick said. Seven different North players scored, led by Corliss’ 15 points and Caroline Bowns’ 14. Pefanis had eight points and Ware added seven.
Lambert (8-10, 3-8) handled defensive pressure far better than they did in the teams’ first meeting, forcing North to defend in the half court and rebound. Ogbogu took care of the latter.
“Gotta mention Okwunne, rebounding like crazy,” Herrick said. “She’s surpassed all expectations I had for her. It’s hard to keep her off the boards. She’s everywhere.”
Molly Williams led the Lady Longhorns with 12 points. Leah Cote added seven and ME Craven and Kara Kidwell had six points apiece. Lambert scored 30 of its 44 in the second half, including the game’s final eight points.
North Forsyth girls 56, Lambert 44
Lambert 6 8 10 20_44
North Forsyth 16 15 13 12_56
Lambert: Molly Williams 12, Cote 7, Craven 6, Kidwell 6, Johnson 5, Russell 5, Clarke 3.
North Forsyth: Corliss 15, Bowns 14, Pefanis 8, Ware 7, Jones 6, Grindle 4, Ogbogu 2.