Midway through the first quarter at North on Friday night, North senior Brison White got his first dunk. Freshman Conner Frankamp rebounded a Northwest miss and threw a long pass upcourt to White for a fastbreak slam.
Less than two minutes later, White had another fastbreak dunk. He had three more late in the second period, including a two-handed jam that elicited plenty of “oohs” from the crowd.
The dunks were impressive, but more importantl were examples of how North controlled the tempo in its 80-67 victory over Northwest.
“We kept the game pace the way we wanted to go and how fast we wanted,” said Briston White, Brison White’s twin brother. “We just took the ball and ran.”
Briston White finished with 13 rebounds and a game-high 23 points, hitting 9 of 12 shots. Brison White had 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while teammates Spencer Robertson finished with 17, Frankamp 14.
“Against Heights (in the opener), we got out too fast,” said North coach Gary Squires, whose team is 1-1. “We’re trying to go 90 mph and we should have gone 60. I wanted them to take care of the basketball, have an even-keel tempo in the game.”
For most teams, it was fast-paced. For North, it was under control. Whatever, it disrupted Northwest’s flow.
“They took us out of our game, so you tip your hats off to them,” Northwest coach Chris Collins said.
It wasn’t simply North’s offense that set the pace; it was also its defense. The Redskins forced 17 turnovers, including six in the first quarter and six in the third.
“We disrupted them a lot,” Briston White said. “We had a lot of steals.
“We felt we could run on them and press them,” Squires said. “And I knew our defensive pressure would bother them, and that’s what we tried to do.”
North shot 31 of 51 (60.8 percent) from the floor, including 6 of 10 from three-point range, largely because it shot so many high-percentage shots.
The Redskins really only have one big man in Spencer Robertson. The other four on the floor are guards.
But Northwest, which likes to get the ball inside, failed to exploit that.
Forward Anthony Collins finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while center Spenser Gales had six points and 10 rebounds, Chris Fox 10 points and five rebounds.
“I feel we’re stronger inside than they are,” Chris Collins said. “That’s one of the reasons we tried to slow it up a little bit to get into our sets, as opposed to what we like to run, which is a full-court game.
“But they got hands on balls and we weren’t hustling to our spots like we normally do.”
Northwest cut into North’s lead several times.
Down 22-10 early in the second, the Grizzlies got to within 27-23 in the second period after a three by Dave Carson, a tip-in by Gales and a jumper from June Johnson.
By the end of the period, North had it back to a nine-point lead. Midway through the third, North stretched its lead to 13 and Northwest didn’t get to within single digits again.
“Last year we learned that if (opponents are) coming back, they could beat us,” Briston White said. “This year we wanted to be controlled and keep the same pace.”
And that pace was fast. Just not too fast.
Northwest (2-1, 2-1) 10 16 16 25 — 67
North (1-1, 1-1) 19 16 20 25 — 80
NORTHWEST: Collins 6 6-7 18, Fox 4 1-2 10, Gales 3 0-0 6, Carson 2 0-0 5, Nicholson 3 4-4 11, Johnson 5 2-2 13, Landenberger 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 (4) 13-15 67.
NORTH: Frankamp 5 2-2 14, Briston White 9 3-4 23, Robertson 7 1-4 17, Brison White 7 4-4 18, Wright 2 2-2 6, Dukes 1 0-0 2. Totals 31 (6) 12-16 12 80.