Seaforth girls, Northwood boys win season’s first Battle of Pittsboro

Seaforth and Northwood met for the first time since 2021.



With Northwood and Seaforth being in the same conference for the first time this season, the long wait for the Battle of Pittsboro ended on Jan. 2.

In their first meeting since 2021, Seaforth’s girls got its first win in the rivalry after rallying in the second half to beat Northwood on the road and in front of a packed house, 46-36.

The game was a tale of two-halves. Northwood controlled the first half with gritty, scrappy defense and stellar perimeter shooting marked by four made threes before the break.

Northwood senior Skylar Adams led the way in the first half with six points from two made threes, while on Seaforth’s end, the Hawks missed all four three point attempts in the same period. Seaforth shot 29 percent from the field in the opening half, and its offensive anchor, Gabby White, couldn’t get going as she only made three of 12 attempts.

Those shooting woes for the Hawks contributed to a 15-19 deficit at halftime.

“I think we were rushed,” Seaforth head coach Charles Byrd said. “I told them at halftime we’ve got to slow down, we’ve got to be patient, we’ve got to be tough coming to the basketball. We’ve got to look to attack the rim and play an inside-out game.”

Taking coach’s advice, as well as turning up the intensity on defense, made all the difference for Seaforth almost immediately.

The Hawks continued to drive for looks at the rim, but when opportunities on the perimeter opened up, they made the extra passes for more comfortable attempts.

With the help of timely baskets from junior Sydney Ballard down low and some big threes from sophomore Mia Moore and White, Seaforth outscored Northwood 16-5 in the third quarter to give itself a 31-24 lead going into the final period.

Although Adams hit some crucial threes to cut the deficit down the stretch, it wasn’t enough to counter a rolling Seaforth offense that had woken up from a lethal slump in the previous half.

The Hawks closed out the game with a double-digit lead, despite their slow start against a tough opponent.

White finished with a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double which was her third double-double of the season. Ballard recorded a season-high 13 points in the win.

“I think it’s a testament to what we preach,” Byrd said. “Just playing team ball, being tough and relying on our defense…Start (with) defense and let the offense take care of itself.”


In the boys game, an all-around team effort from Northwood overwhelmed Seaforth as the Chargers rolled to a 75-30 victory in front of a capacity crowd.

Northwood had three players score in double digits and 11 total players contribute in the scoring column. Senior Fred Whitaker led the way with 15 points, sophomore Cam Fowler poured in 14 and senior Jake Leighton recorded 12.

Senior Drake Powell, Northwood’s leading scorer, only needed to contribute seven points on four shots, and he played limited minutes in the second half once the game got out of reach.

“It’s a blessing to have to type of players that we have here,” head coach Matt Brown said. “Any given night, it’s going to be somebody. It’s not going to be the same one or two guys…It’s a lot of fun to be a part of something like that.”

Northwood made it a point of emphasis to have better ball movement against the Hawks, something Brown felt his team didn’t do as well in the Capitol City Classic and John Wall Holiday Invitational.

Others got going early against Seaforth as senior Ashton Elliott and Leighton led the offense in the first quarter through attacking the basket and passing the ball around for open looks at the rim.

The Chargers jumped out to an early 20-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, and with consistent offensive execution coupling with Powell anchoring defensive stops with some athletic blocks at the rim, the lead grew to 48-16 at halftime.

“(It was) mainly just pushing with pace,” Whitaker said about the team’s offensive performance.

Not only was Northwood playing fast, they were playing efficient basketball. The Chargers shot 58 percent from the floor, including a 42 percent shooting clip from three.

“We came into it kind of with a chip on our shoulder,” Brown said. “Losing at John Wall hurt, and we wanted to fix what we wanted to fix. I think we’re starting to move towards that way of getting things that we need to get done done.”

As for Seaforth, the Hawks have lost six of their last seven games as of Jan. 2. After playing some tough opponents in the past few weeks, they’ll look to get back to winning ways as conference play heats up.