You live by the three, and you die by the three. Wednesday night, North lived by the three as they defeated Etowah 61-33 in the first round of the Class AAAAAA girls basketball state tournament at Raider Arena.
North shot 44 percent (12-27) from behind the arc while only attempting 17 shots from inside the three-point line.
“We’re a good shooting basketball team,” North coach Eric Herrick said. “We knew they played a lot of zone, so we were going to shoot a lot of 3s. Get our best kids great looks at 3s and try to put a little bit of pressure on them.”
North started the game on an 11-2 run led by senior guards Lochlain Corliss and Caroline Bowns. Corliss (13 points) started the game by going 2-for-2 from three-point range. Bowns added a 3 of her own in between the two from Corliss and followed that up with a driving layup to cap the run.
Etowah got the lead down to four late in the first quarter before freshman guard Amber Jones (12 points) joined the three-point party with a 3 to beat the buzzer.
North was never really tested after that.
“I don’t think we played, obviously, as good as we have been playing in the past, but North Forsyth’s a really good basketball team and we knew that coming in,” Etowah coach Bob Westbrook said. “They shoot the three-ball as good as any team we played this year.”
After a 28-17 halftime lead, North came out on another 11-2 run to start the second half.
The second half run was highlighted by Bowns, who made another driving layup and was fouled on the play. Bowns missed the additional free throw, but everyone seemed to think she had another free throw coming, so the ball just sat there. Bowns rushed in, scooped up her own rebound and laid it in to complete a four-point possession for the Lady Raiders.
“Overall our entire team stepped up because we knew this was our last home game for the season,” Bowns said. “For us seniors it has been a good career and we didn’t want to come out here and lose on our last time playing on home court.”
Next up for the Lady Raiders is a game at Osborne, a 61-52 winner over Campbell, on Friday night.
“Great win. Now it’s time to really gear up and get ready,” Herrick said. “It gets real serious right now.”
North Forsyth 61, Etowah 33
North Forsyth 14 14 18 15_61
Etowah 7 10 11 5_33