Varsity Basketball

Defense sparks Grizzlies

The Northwest girls failed to consistently produce offense at North on Friday night.

Against North's zone defense, the Grizzlies shot 19 of 57 from the floor (33.3 percent), including 5 of 20 (25 percent) from three-point range. They were 10 of 19 from the free-throw line, as well.

"We couldn't make the shots," Northwest coach Jim Mernagh said. "I thought we settled too early for a jump shot."

Northwest's defense was the difference as the Grizzlies forced 30 turnovers in the 53-41 victory.

"We guarded pretty decent," Mernagh said.

On North's first seven possessions, Northwest forced a turnover and scored nine points. Grizzlies guard T. Nolen had a game-high eight steals.

"We're working hard on running everything correctly," North coach Jeanne Daniels said. "When we don't execute, we lose ground. And we really talked about taking care of the ball. We can't score if we don't have the ball."

Northwest got six first-quarter points from senior Kylee Simon — she finished with a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds — as the Grizzlies built a 17-5 lead and didn't turn the ball over.

But in the second quarter, North improved. The Redskins, who had 13 first-quarter turnovers, only committed four in the second.

Senior Jaleesa Dennis hit two threes and had 10 points in the period as North cut Northwest's lead to 28-23 at the half.

Dennis finished with 12 points, and teammate Kelli Tyler had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Grizzlies opened the third period with a three-pointer from Brianna Caldwell. She had nine points on three three-pointers.

Northwest went on a 12-4 run in the third, capped by Nolen's fastbreak basket after a steal.

"We switched between man and zone," Simon said. "When they got up close, we went to man (defense). We stopped the ball, stopped the penetration."

A three by Tyler sparked North again as the Redskins cut Northwest's lead back to 41-33 late in the period. North was within six at 44-38 with 6:54 to go, but Northwest scored nine of the game's final 12 points, including two from Alaina Shine. Shine finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.

"I'd like to get where we stretch that lead and keep going," Mernagh said.

Northwest (2-1, 2-1) 17 11 14 11 — 53 North (0-2, 0-2) 5 18 12 6 — 41

NORTHWEST: Caldwell 3 0-0 9, Simon 8 1-2 18, Shine 4 3-5 11, M. Millspaugh 1 2-4 5, Nolen 3 2-4 8, A. Millspaugh 0 1-2 1, McAlpine 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 (5) 10-19 12 53.

NORTH: Tyler 5 0-0 11, Wyatt 0 2-4 2, Rosales 3 2-4 8, Dennis 4 2-2 12, Williams 2 0-0 4, Beshears 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 (3) 6-10 13 41.

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