The reign of the Northwood girls in the Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic Tournament came to a close here in Sanford on Saturday evening at Lee County Senior High School as 4A power Raleigh Millbrook …
The reign of the Northwood girls in the Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic Tournament came to a close here in Sanford on Saturday evening at Lee County Senior High School as 4A power Raleigh Millbrook dethroned the Chargers with a 43-23 setback.
It was a contest in which Northwood could do little against a relentless Millbrook defense as the Chargers managed just three points in the second period, and one in the fourth.
Despite the disappointing loss, NW coach Cameron Vernon was very pleased at how his club battled from start to finish against one of the top 4A programs in the state.
“Our girls really embraced this opportunity to play against one of the best women’s basketball programs in the state within the past 10 years," Vernon said. “I mean you are talking multiple state championship appearances at the 4A level and winning state championships 2 out of 3 years a couple years ago. Our girls very much respected Millbrook, but we weren’t intimidated and we competed very hard against them.”
Vernon did admit coming in he was a bit concerned about how his young team would react to playing such a well known 4A power in Millbrook.
“That was my concern going in, but we started off very well ending in a 1 point deficit after the 1st, but the second quarter really hurt us,” continued Vernon. “I thought we ran our offensive sets well and Millbrook’s length and athleticism really made it hard for us to get anything inside. I thought defensively we were prepared for their offensive sets and defended well, but again their athleticism and skill just trumped our defensive efforts on some possessions.”
The Chargers gave the favored Wildcats fits in the opening period as Myla Marve tallied a pair of baskets to off set four from Keanna Rembert, and three from Reiven Douglas while keeping NW within 11-10.
Unfortunately the size and athleticism of Millbrook began to show in the second and Northwood managed just a trey from Marve.
This opened the door for a 12-3 Wildcats run to extend the lead to 23-13 at the break. Douglas and Rembert had four points apiece in the second frame.
Behind four points from Harris and three more from Chandler Adams, Northwood once again traded blow for blow with Millbrook in the third.
A three-pointer by Douglas and three points from Rembert helped the Wildcats take a 10-9 advantage in the quarter to send the Raleigh club up 33-22 at the intermission.
The fourth period was disaster as Millbrook outscored Northwood 10-1 behind three points from Douglas to put the finishing touches on the 43-23 triumph and the 2018 Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic Tournament title.
Marve paced Northwood with seven points in the loss while Adams was a force inside, collecting eight rebounds while teammate Kaya Hill added five more boards.
Douglas and Rembert led the Millbrook offense with 13 and 12 points respectively.
“I told the girls after the game I was very proud of them for their effort and their attitude throughout this game,” closed Vernon. “I am very fortunate to be coaching such a great group of girls right now and am confident that this game can actually be a stepping stone as we head into the New Year.”
Rembert and Douglas were awarded Co-MVP honors after the finals while Adams and JY Smith were chosen to the All-Tournament Team along with Kiya Locklear of Hoke County.