MIDDLEBURY — The NorthWood Black Swish and the host Northridge Raiders appear destined to meet in today’s championship game of the 3rd annual Bankers Classic high school girls basketball tournament.
NorthWood is one win away from the finale after the Black Swish defeated East Noble 61-45 and Highland 66-25 in Friday’s action. Northridge has already advanced to the championship based on its 51-38 win over Andrean and a 62-32 victory over Columbia City combined with the fact that the other team in Pool A Hamilton dropped out of the event on Thursday.
“It’s unfortunate that Hamilton pulled out,” Northridge coach Doug Springer said. “It was too late to replace them. It means teams in our pool will only get to play three games. The Columbia City coach (Amy Shearer) was upset about how her team didn’t get to play a game before they played us.”
One of the reasons for Northridge’s easy win over Columbia City was the Raiders ability to limit the Eagles to one shot and then being able to turn those defensive rebounds into transition points on the offensive end.
The Raiders (10-1) were up 22-8 after one quarter, 40-12 at halftime and 50-21 at the end of the third period.
“Our guards — (senior) Brianne O’Dell, (junior) Taylor Miller and (senior) Mikaela Zook — took two dribbles and the ball was gone,” Springer said. “I don’t know how many possessions we had where the ball never touched the floor until it went through the net at the other end. We had told the girls the idea for the game was to get a stop on defense, score and then get another stop.”
One other thing the Raiders forced Columbia City to do on offense was to try and lob the ball inside to their post players.
“We are not a tall team, but we have good movement,” Springer said. “We don’t want teams making straight-line passes on us. We want them to try lobs. Those kind of passes give us a chance to use our athletic ability.”