LEWISBURG — The Tri-County North girls basketball team hosted an opening weekend tournament as they began their season with a victory over Northridge, beating the Polar Bears 52-40 on Friday, Nov. 20, before losing to Carlisle the next day, 46-16.
Against Northridge, the Panthers jumped out to a big lead in the second quarter, outscoring Northridge by 13 points to jump out to a 10 point lead going into the half. They also scored 14 points off 10 steals during the game.
“We are a fast paced team and it showed tonight,” said head coach Jessica Cherry.
The Panthers, who struggled on offense last season, shot 44 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the free throw line.
“The team played well together. We did things all around and to score 52 points is a huge accomplishment – we never scored over 38 points last year,” said Cherry. “We did lose our lead for a while and were able to regain the lead and finish the game with a W.”
They were led by Cassi Stinson, who had 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Riley Cruse added nine points and four rebounds while Chelsey Strawser had seven points, four assists, and five rebounds. Rounding out the rest of the scoring was Sara Harris with six points, four assists, and one block while Preston Lipinski had six points and two rebounds and Tiarra Alford had four points.
Things didn’t necessarily swing in North’s favor against a solid Carlisle squad though, as the team settled for a lot of outside shots that just weren’t falling for the home team.
They were outscored 16-2 in the first quarter and could never recover after that.
“We came out very flat,” said Cherry. “We didn’t come out with a shooting game. (Against Northridge) we moved the ball well, passed the ball well, we didn’t do that (Against Carlisle),” said Cherry. “We don’t have a very deep bench, so I think the girls are a little tired from (the night before) but we definitely did not come out passing the ball well or running the plays well.”
The Panthers did hold Carlisle to 17 second half points scoring 10 of their own. The tightened defensive effort was an adjustment Cherry and her staff made at the break.
“We talked to them about dropping the wing down on the backside to cover that short corner spot,” she said. “We worked on getting in the correct position on the rebounding and we did adjust the defense on that.”
The team also lacked heavily in steals and assists, two items that were instrumental in their opening night victory.
They do continue to shoot well from the charity stripe and already have one victory under their belt, a feat that took them 10 games last season.
Against Carlisle, they were led by Alford who had seven points while Harris added five, and Lipinski and Cruse both added two apiece.
North was scheduled to host Milton Union on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and will host Northeastern on Monday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.