North High might not have the record of a winner. But on Friday night against South, the Redskins' boys team showed they have the heart of one.
Coming off a crushing home loss to East, North got big nights from the White brothers, Briston and Brison, as well as freshman guard Conner Frankamp in a 70-47 pasting of the Titans.
"It felt great," North coach Gary Squires said. "The kids deserve it, they've been working hard in practice. We were down after that game against East. We had the game right there and we let it slip away late. So this was a great win."
"It stuck with us for a little bit," said Briston White, recalling that he missed some key free throws late that could have changed the outcome. "It stuck with us as a team that night, but the next day we came to practice and got down to it."
It took North a couple of minutes to get on track, but once Brison White dunked off a steal to tie the game at 4-4, it started a 14-2 run to lead 18-6 at the end of the first quarter. North never led by fewer than 11 points.
South could have made things a little more respectable with a better night from the line, but the Titans were 10 of 25 from the stripe — and that included a 6-for-8 effort from Tony Buchanan. Coupled with a 5-for-20 effort in its last game against Southeast, the Titans have gone 14 for 44 from the line in the last two games.
But South's problems weren't limited to free-throw shooting.
"We're not getting the kind of effort it takes to win in the City League," South coach Scott Lilly said. "You don't get back on defense, you don't get back in transition, you give up multiple shots each possession, you don't contest shooters, you're not going to be successful."
Brison White made his first four shots from the field and first six from the line en route to 19 points. Briston White shook off a slow start from the field to make 9 of 16 shots to finish with a game-high 23 points. His nine rebounds tied Buchanan for game-high honors.
On paper, South narrowly won the rebounding battle, 32-31, but even that goes as a big statistical victory for the Redskins, whose tallest starter is the 6-1 Frankamp.
"I was concerned about South's height," Squires said.
North countered with an effective 2-1-2 press that helped cause 15 turnovers and rush the Titans into several bad shots before it really gave its offense a chance to set up in the half court.
North has a chance to get above .500 on Tuesday when it plays Southeast before a rematch at East.
South (1-6, 1-5) 6 14 15 12 — 47 North (3-3, 3-3) 18 21 22 9 — 70
SOUTH: Thomas 3 1-2 8, Burton 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 3 1-4 7, Glenn 1 0-0 2, Buchanan 5 6-8 16, Bradley 3 0-3 6, Campbell 2 1-4 5, Craig 0 1-4 1. Totals 18 (1) 10-25 47.
NORTH: Briston White 9 5-8 23, Tolliver 2 0-0 4, Brison White 6 7-10 19, Frankamp 5 2-2 14, Wright 2 2-3 6, Robertson 1 0-0 2, Kemp 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 (2) 16-23 70.