Panthers blown away by HurricanesPublished 10:05am Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The Northside women’s basketball team lost their second straight game on Tuesday at the hands of Pamlico County, 73-26.
The loss was their first without leader Alex Adams, who suffered a debilitating knee injury in last week’s game against East Carteret. Adams was sporting a pair of crutches on the Panthers’ bench and is likely out for the season with what looks like a torn ACL, according to Athletic Director Barry Boyd.
Without the 18 points per game Adams contributed to the Panthers’ offense, the Hurricanes’ defense was able to easily contain Northside early, applying pressure and forcing a slew of turnovers. Coach April Rose’s team held the Panthers scoreless until about two minutes left in the first quarter. The Hurricanes began the game with an impressive 19-0 lead, one they would never relinquish.
“We know that people are going to play a zone because we’re pretty quick,” said Rose. “We also have pretty good guards, so we know we need to attack. Attack, drive and dish were our main focus.”
The catalyst of the Hurricanes’ offense was sophomore Laichelle Sparrow, who scored a game-high 22 points on the night. Sparrow also proved to be a strong presence in the paint, using her height advantage to gather the majority of the offensive and defensive rebounds.
Pamlico County’s Alazia Whitfield, who dropped 13 points on the night, and Alexis Hawkins-Pool were too much down low for the Panthers forwards to guard in the first half.
The Hurricanes took an overpowering 41-12 lead into halftime.
“I told them [at halftime] to show more effort and have some heart,” said Northside Coach Michelle Leathers. “Our star player is hurt, she’s out. If she was out there, I feel like the team would have been more motivated, but if your star player goes down, you need to step it up.”
The Panthers would score just four points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth, but the score did not bother senior guard Cheyenne Franks. Franks scored 16 out of her team’s 26 points on the night and fought for every loose ball like the game was on the line.
With the loss, Northside moves to 5-4 on the season and 0-2 in conference play.
“Sometimes you got to take the loss and learn from it,” said Leathers. “Tomorrow we need to get up and play harder. We need to learn to play without our star player.”
Northside has little time to catch their breath. The team is set to face First Flight (5-2) at home tonight with tipoff beginning at 6 p.m.