PITTSBORO — Northwood outscored Northern Durham 11-3 in the first quarter to open up a comfortable lead and never let the Lady Knights get closer than four points the remainder of the game as the …
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PITTSBORO — Northwood outscored Northern Durham 11-3 in the first quarter to open up a comfortable lead and never let the Lady Knights get closer than four points the remainder of the game as the Lady Chargers celebrated Senior Night by presenting coach Cameron Vernon with his 200th career win, cruising to a 55-43 Big Eight 3A Conference victory Friday evening in Lewis Norwood Gymnasium.
The triumph allowed Northwood to even its league record at 6-6 and raise its overall ledger to 12-9 as the Lady Chargers improved to 11-0 lifetime against cellar-dwelling Northern Durham, which lost its 18th consecutive contest while plummeting to 0-12 in the conference and 1-20 for the season.
Chandler Adams and Caitlyn Bailey tallied 10 points apiece to pace the winners, who placed a total of 10 players in the scoring column. Lady Knights’ freshman Maya Hood tossed in 23 points to top all scorers while teammate Malika Pierce finished with 11.
Following Hood’s layup 32 seconds into the game that gave Northern Durham its only lead, Adams accounted for eight straight points as Northwood used a 9-0 run to seize the early momentum.
After McKenna Snively’s bank shot in the lane expanded the Lady Chargers’ advantage to 16-6 with 5:02 left in the second period, Hood’s put-back in the paint and four consecutive points from Pierce narrowed the gap to four with 3:29 remaining in the first half.
But Natalie Bell’s conventional three-point play half a minute later then ignited an 11-3 quarter-ending run by Northwood that stretched the winners’ lead to 27-15 at intermission.
With seven different players contributing points in the third stanza, the Lady Chargers’ advantage grew to 41-21 following Jillian McKnaught’s rebound bucket in the lane with 1:14 to go in the third period prior to layups by Hood and Pierce over the last 50 seconds of the frame that sliced the margin to 16 heading into the last quarter.
After Northwood rebuilt its lead to 20 on back-to-back Bailey and Myla Marve layups to begin fourth stanza, Hood and Pierce would combine for a dozen points as the Lady Knights closed out the game with an 18-10 burst to make the final score more respectable.
“While I thought this was a gritty win against a Northern Durham team that gave us a good fight, we were able to play a lot of kids tonight who don’t normally get a lot of minutes on the court,” noted Lady Chargers’ coach Cameron Vernon.
“As a result of executing our sets on offense and taking high-percentage shots, we got off to a fast start and stayed in control the rest of the way.”
Regarding his milestone career victory in his ninth year at Northwood, Vernon stated, “This win is a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by all the girls (past and present) who have come through our program. It would not have been possible without their effort along with all the support I’ve received from my staff members over the years.”