Offensive struggles continue for Northside girls
Published 12:23 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2015
PINETOWN —Senior Alex Adams drew the defender with a pump fake on the perimeter, stutter stepped twice and drove the lane for a contested layup. Ten minutes and 15 seconds. That’s how long it took the Northside girls’ basketball team to find the bottom of the net during Monday night’s game versus first place Pamlico County.
“We just wanted to come out in the zone and try to contain them, but they have players on the inside bigger and more active than our post players,” said head coach Michelle Leathers. “They beat us on getting back a lot. We weren’t rotating over to defend and they were beating us on the short corner.”
Granted, the Panthers were matched up against the first place Hurricanes, a team that has now won 13-straight games and comes fully loaded with a deep arsenal of speedy guards all adhering to a common system. Leathers’ team had flashes of efficiency, but couldn’t keep pace with the opposition’s athleticism.
Even with limited opportunities, Adams still finished with 17 points and has been the primary, arguably sole producer on a team that’s had difficulty putting up points of late.
“Someone else has to start shooting,” Leathers said when asked about the state of her offense. “Every year we seem to get younger and younger. They need to pick the ball up in the summer. That’s where it all begins. How are you going to be a good shooter if you don’t practice shooting the ball? You need to get in the flow and shoot with people in your face. You’re not always going to always get a pick.”
Northside is 1-3 in its last four Coastal Plains Conference games, averaging just 38 points during that stretch and, after Monday’s loss, dropping to sixth place in the table.
Against the Hurricanes, Northside was held scoreless in the first quarter and was unable to break down Pamlico County’s full-court press. Errant passing in the half court resulted in a slew of turnovers, ones that guards Laichelle Sparrow and Briana Jones were able to capitalize on.
The back iron denied Adams a handful of times early on, but in the second quarter, she scored a pair of buckets in transition and challenged the Pamlico County bigs by working her way to the charity strip. She finished with nine points in the second, but her teammates offered little support on offense, as the Hurricanes led 32-12 at the half.
Out of the break, Adams managed get some of her teammates involved. Quartasia Clark dominated the rebounding game, while Sara Rhem and Kelsey Lang chipped in a pair of baskets. However, the Hurricanes’ Leetasia Midgette’s seven points negated what little production the Panthers could generate.
With the game out of reach, Adams took over and scored eight points in the final quarter, while Rachel Lang notched five rebounds, four points and two assists, but it was too little too late.
With the loss, Northside drops to 5-10 (2-6 CPC) and will look to bounce back in Williamston on Wednesday when it takes on last place Bear Grass.