The girls from Northside chose an inopportune time to suffer their first defeat by an opponent with 1A, when on Tuesday in the fourth round of the playoffs 1A lost 60-44 to Bertie County, which ranked first.
The game completed the best two-year series in the school’s recent history after they reached the Eastern Finals last year with an 11-5 mark during the delayed and compressed COVID-19 campaign.
“It’s been a great season, but I want us to play again on Saturday,” said coach Michelle Lasers. “Bertie was very athletic and made us make turns that we don’t usually have.
Northside finished 18-3 with two other losses against East Carteret’s 2A conference enemy with a two-year 29-8 mark that coincided with the arrival of senior quarterback Paige Sawyer as a transition from Unity Christian.
“I train in boxing (on the sideline) and she trains on the floor,” Lasers said. “She’s a natural playmaker and quickly draws everyone into our attack. She knows when to press and when to slow down. She can score when we need to, but she’s a great pass and puts her teammates in the right position to succeed. I really enjoyed coaching her. ”
Sawyer along with senior assists Shayan Buck (Unity Christian) and Hansley Jordan (Terra Seya) gave the Panthers experience, while younger players evolved.
Sophomore Mariah (Mimi) Jones led the team for the second year in a row, scoring 18 points per game, but all night in the final game was unpleasant, and finished with six points last season.
Buck 6’2 was a tough match for most opponents, and she averaged double-doubles in points and rebounds and scored 14 points in the final game.
“The movement of the ball was our strength and it goes back to the fact that Paige saw the floor and knew the right pass to make,” Scullars said. “We played very well together and hopefully that will continue.”
Jones returns with freshman bodyguard Olivia Jane (OJ) Kahun, who made her way into the starting lineup earlier in the season.
Top reserves Gene Grace DeHug and Lauren Rose are also back, giving the Skins next year an experienced but different team.
“I would like OJ to intervene and run the case, but she is young and still. “Learn,” said Lasers.