The Northern Guilford lady Nighthawks, led by Elissa Cunane and Stephanie Chandler who scored 13 points each, bested the Rockingham County Cougars by the score of 51-38 Friday night.
Northern came out strong in the first eight minutes and played solid defense to force Rockingham County to take quick shots or turn the ball over. Mercedes Wampler scored all of her six points in the opening frame. The Nighthawks led 16-6 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Elissa Cunane’s powerful post presence helped extend the Nighthawk lead. Northern got a boost from their bench, as Amy Rule contributed four points. Heading to halftime the Nighthawks were leading by 13 points, 30-17.
The commanding presence that Northern had throughout the first two quarters dropped significantly in the third quarter.
Northern head coach Kim Furlough thought her team was making good decisions, but pointed out their inability to make shots was the reason for their third quarter struggles.
“I thought we went cold — we couldn’t hit a shot,” Furlough said. “We got good shots, we just weren’t knocking them down.”
The coach rallied her troops after they were on the wrong end of a 10-0 run to end the third and talked to them about the game plan for victory.
“We have had a stretch where we haven’t had any close games. You have to get used to that and understand the focus that needs to happen in games like that. I think in the fourth quarter we did much better. We talked about using the clock, taking care of the ball, just being smarter than we were in the third quarter.”
Stephanie Chandler hit two early three pointers in the fourth to increase the Nighthawk lead back to double-digits, and eight points from Janelle Henderson were enough to seal the victory for Northern. The final score was 51-38.
Elissa Cunane finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the game.
Cunane’s week was one for the record books, as the Northern star broke her career high in points with an amazing 40 on Tuesday versus McMichael. On Wednesday, Cunane officially became the top scorer and rebounder in the school’s history. The N.C. State-bound senior passed Samantha Coffer with 1,820 points and 1,288 rebounds in her career.
Cunane was all smiles as she talked about the accomplishments.
“It’s really exciting,” Cunane said of the milestones. “I’m really blessed to have the teammates and coaches that I have that have helped me achieve all these things.”
Northern Guilford improves to (16-4) overall and (11-0) in the Mid-State 3A conference with the victory over Rockingham County. The Nighthawks return to action when they travel to Eden and face Morehead on Tuesday.
Rockingham County drops to (18-3) and (9-3) in the conference with the loss to the Nighthawks on Friday night. The Cougars, who had won their last four coming into Friday, turn around to play arch-rival Reidsville on Saturday at 1:00.
Elissa Cunane: 13 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks
Stephanie Chandler: 13 points, 3 rebounds, assist, steal
Janelle Henderson: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, steal
Mercedes Wampler: 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Andy Pack scored 25 points to lead the Northern Guilford boys over the Rockingham County Cougars Friday night in Summerfield.
The Nighthawks cruised through the first half, but failure to give up and determination helped Rockingham County stay in the game. The Cougars battled back from an 18-point halftime deficit to trail by 9 after the third quarter. Strong defense in the final frame kept the Cougars close, but the Nighthawks were just too much. Rockingham County was led in scoring by Jake Miller, who contributed 12 of his 18 points in the final eight minutes of play.
Northern Guilford head coach Bill Chambers was happy to get a victory, but saw plenty of room for improvement for his Nighthawks.
“I thought Rockingham County outhustled us, and outplayed us, really,” Chambers said. “Their zone (defense) really gave us trouble. We’ve been playing well against the zone lately, but really struggled tonight. I really credit Rockingham for hustling.”
“Hopefully this is our last bad game and it’s out of our system now so we can get back to it,” Chambers added.
Northern Guilford improves to (15-5) overall and (9-2) in the Mid-State 3A with the conference victory on Friday. The Nighthawks are back on the court in Eden on Tuesday when they play Morehead.
Rockingham County has a quick turnaround and will be back on the court in less than 24 hours. The Cougars play Reidsville on Saturday at 2:30 following their conference loss on Friday. Rockingham County is now (5-15) overall and (1-11) in the Mid-State 3A.
Andy Pack: 25 points
Dakari Mitchell: 10 points
Kellen Hodge: 8 points