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The Journal Gazette

Friday, December 08, 2017 11:20 pm

Northrop 39, Bishop Luers 31

Northrop girls get ugly win over Luers

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

It wasn’t pretty. But it was effective.

The Northrop girls emerged with a 39-31 victory at Bishop Luers on Friday night that improved the Bruins’ record to 9-0, even though they made only 13 of 43 shots.

“I feel like we need to work on playing together more and stop turning the ball over, trying not to rush it or being too cocky coming out,” said senior Arielle Thatcher, who had a team-high 12 points as the Bruins overcame a dreadful first quarter but finished strong.

Northrop, which came into the night having scored at least 52 points in every game, and at least 65 in 7 of 8, found itself trailing 11-5 after the first quarter.

But Thatcher’s end-to-end drive for a basket with 2:20 left in the second quarter gave her seven points in a 12-0 Bruins’ run for a 17-11 lead. The Knights didn’t get a second-quarter basket until Kathryn Knapke’s shot from the paint with 1:26 left in the quarter.

Even with a 19-15 halftime lead, though, the Bruins didn’t yet feel themselves.

“Our coach (Rashida Muhammad) talked to us in the locker room and told us we had to get our stuff together and start working together, stop turning the ball over,” Thatcher said.

Senior Alicia Tiney-Williams echoed those sentiments.

“To win this one, we listened to our coach because she told us that we came out slow, and we had to pick it up,” she said. “When we got in the locker room, we all had a talk and knew that we had to come together and what we had to do to get this win.”

Thatcher’s steal at midcourt set up Morgan Hughes for a layup and a 34-30 lead with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter. Even though Northrop made only 10 of 24 free throws, Thatcher made a pair with 1:50 left for a 36-31 lead that put the game out of reach.

“We had to fight,” Thatcher said. “It was a very fight-filled game, and we had to get back into at the end, snap back into it.”

For Northrop, Hughes had eight points, senior Breanna Douglas had seven points and a game-best 14 rebounds, and Tiney-Williams seven points and a game-high three blocks.

All were crucial on a night when made shots were at a premium; Luers was 10 of 40 from the field.

“When I get a block, I get really excited. ‘Oh yeah, I just got that,’” Tiney-Williams said. “When I play defense, I know I’m big (at 6-foot) and it’s easy to get fouls drawn on me, so I have to do it a certain way or else I’m going to get a foul called really easily. Coach helps us practice that and make sure we do it really cleanly.”

Knapke, a senior, and sophomore Lydia Reimbold had 10 points apiece. Reimbold also had 12 rebounds for Luers (6-3), which came into the night not having scored fewer than 41 points.