North girls lose to MV, Newton

By Jeremy Erskine -

LEWISBURG — Tri-County North lost both match-ups last week, falling 51-31 to Mississinawa Valley on Monday, Jan. 4 before losing 63-23 to Newton on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Against Mississinawa Valley, the Panthers got into the hole quickly when the Blackhawks sunk two triples in the first 50 seconds of the contest.

North answered that quickly though, with both Sarah Harris and Riley Cruse connecting on three-point buckets.

But Mississinawa’s full court press was too much for the Panthers, and forced several turnovers.

“We did some adjusting to our defense during Christmas Break – we worked on man-to-man full court pressure and our goal was to stop (Mikayla) Stump and (Kelsie) Hunt. We were able to hold Stump to six points but couldn’t stop Hunt underneath,” said head coach Jessica Cherry.

North went into the half down 28-12 but Mississinawa was just too much for the young squad to handle.

Cassi Stinson was able to put together a big second half though, scoring 12 of her 15 points then.

“Cassi is definitely who we look for to score for us and we rely on her to get the ball up the court. She is a good ball player, we just need to get all of our shooters shooting consistent, we are young and I feel the more experience we get the more confident we will get shooting and bringing the ball up the court.”

Along with her 15 points, Stinson also added three steals, six rebounds, and two assists. She was helped by Harris who had five points, five rebounds, and two assists while Preston Lipinski added four points and two rebounds. Cruse also chipped in five points and Tiarra Alford finished with two points and four rebounds.

Their match-up against Newton was much of the same, with the Panthers struggling against the top of the Cross County Conference.

Newton jumped out quickly, putting up 26 points in the first quarter while holding North to just eight. In the second, the Panthers only managed two points during the period while Newton scored 15 in the span.

“(Their) press was a little too much for (us) and it created 25 turnovers that resulted in 10 of those being buckets,” said Cherry. “We really spoke to the girls about their lack of rebounding. Against (Newton) we only had six in the first half. They did come out the second half and were able to pull down 14 rebounds and three of them were offensive put-backs. We will continue to build consistency with the girls and working shooting the ball. We have adjusted some things in our defense and hope to build that up as we continue to finish up the second half of the season.”

In the game, North was led by Stinson with 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Harris added four points and two assists. Cruse added five points and three rebounds and Alford chipped in two points.

By Jeremy Erskine

Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.

Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.