DURHAM — Natalie Bell swished a clutch trey and Rae McClarty added five points and Chandlers Adams four more in a wild fourth period here on Tuesday night as Northwood stormed back from 10 points …
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DURHAM — Natalie Bell swished a clutch trey and Rae McClarty added five points and Chandlers Adams four more in a wild fourth period here on Tuesday night as Northwood stormed back from 10 points down with just under four minutes to play to take a thrilling 44-42 triumph over Southern Durham in 3A Big Eight Conference play.
For the Chargers, it was their first-ever seasonal sweep of the Spartans since entering the 3A Big Eight Conference seven years ago while improving Northwood to 8-1 in the league and to 14-5 overall.
Southern Durham, now 5-2 in the conference and 12-6 overall, trails first place Northwood in the standings and stands in second place.
Veteran NW coach Cameron Vernon didn’t think his club played well, but he was pleased with the resilience shown by the Chargers.
“This is one of a handful games in my 11 years I am thinking back and don’t know how we just pulled that out,” said Vernon. “We shot 22 percent from the field and 46 percent from the free throw line, and we just struggled mightily on offense, but somehow we pulled it out. I told the girls, down 10 with 3:50 seconds to go in the game and playing as bad offensively as we did, to pull this game out indicates how tough of a team we are.”
In the opening period Tekeyah Bland tallied five points but Southern Durham owned a 13-10 advantage after eight minutes of action as Kayla Cadlett pumped in four.
The Lady Chargers battled back with a gritty defensive effort which held the Spartans to just eight points in the second to while Bell had four to lead NW back to a 21-all tie at the intermission. Taylor Robinson and Imayah Ingram had four apiece for the Spartans in the period.
“We really didn’t do anything particularly well on offense and their athleticism, defense and style of play definitely factored in to that,” added Vernon. “But Tekeyah Bland again had a solid night and Chandler Adams has been a huge boost inside while Natalie Bell and Micah McCLarty continue to defend well. Although the offensive numbers weren’t there Gianna McManaman and McKenna Snively handled the pressure very well while they were handling the ball.”
But in the third quarter the Chargers went ice cold, scoring just five points in the stanza, with Bland accounting for four. Robinson had five for the Spartans, who took a 30-26 lead into the final quarter of action.
In the fourth, Calett scored four early points to spark a 10-4 Southern Durham run which pushed the host’s advantage to 40-30 with 3:52 remaining in the contest.
A key trey by Bell sparked the rally and Northwood stormed back for the improbable 44-42 victory.
Bland had 14 points to lead the Chargers offensively while Bell, McClarty and Adams all tallied seven each with Adams adding seven rebounds and Bell six more boards, and McClarty three assists.
Robinson paced Southern Durham with 14 points while Ingram added nine.
“This is a huge win as Southern is 2nd in the conference and it gives us a tiebreaker against them,” closed Vernon. “Super proud of our girls and we have another big test as we take on Chapel Hill Friday night.”