The Northern Guilford girls basketball team lost a hard- fought game to the Eastern Alamance Eagles on Friday night.
The Nighthawks scored the opening basket of the game, but then Eastern Alamance shut them down offensively and went on a 9-0 run. Stephanie Chandler scored eight points in the final three minutes of the first quarter, bailing her team out of a hole. The score was tied after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, neither team could get things going offensively, in part because of missed scoring opportunities. At the end of the second quarter, the score was tied again, this time at 16.
Eastern Alamance looked like a different team than they did previously when they went on an 8-0 run in the first four minutes of the third. Northern finally got its offense going when Chandler hit a three point shot, after which Jayla Harris made a three and Chandler added another three to cut the Eagles’ lead to one. Eastern Alamance answered with two baskets before the end of the quarter and led 31-27 after three quarters.
Northern Guilford showed resilience in the fourth quarter. Janelle Henderson scored seven of her nine points in the final frame, with Chandler contributing four. The Nighthawks took the lead with 2:30 to play, despite all the things that had gone wrong for them all night it appeared they could pull out a win. Chandler’s final points of the put Northern ahead once again by two points. A questionable foul call put Eastern’s Autumn Self on the free throw line and she made both shots. The Nighthawks committed a turnover on the ensuing possession and the Eagles capitalized with a game winning shot at the buzzer by Akela Morrison.
The Nighthawks struggled to keep possession of the ball all night long. They made bad passes, traveled, gave up steals dribbling, and failed to staying in bounds. They turned the ball over in just about every way possible throughout the game, and at the end, a Nighthawks turnover was the reason the Eagles had the ball for the final shot.
Stephanie Chandler led all scorers with 20 points, an amazing 15 of those by way of three-pointers.
The Eagles’ leading scorer and game hero was Akela Morrison who contributed 14 points in the win.
Northern Guilford drops to (14-6) overall and (7-3) in conference play with the loss. The Nighthawks take the court again Tuesday when they host Person.
Eastern Alamance improves to (11-8) overall and (7-3) in the conference. Eastern Alamance’s next game is Tuesday when they host Rockingham County.
The Northern Guilford Nighthawks boys basketball team dropped a tough game to the undefeated Eastern Alamance Eagles by a score of 62-53 on Friday night.
Early in the game, the Nighthawks looked to be matched up well with the Eagles, with the exception of one thing: Eastern’s Na’Zae Baltimore, a 6’5” 235-pound senior, who maintained control of the paint all night. The Nighthawks were able to hang with Eastern in the beginning of the first quarter, but by quarter’s end, the Eagles led 16-11.
In the second quarter, Northern couldn’t buy a basket. It seemed every attempted shot would fall short, roll around the rim and out, or get blocked by Eastern’s Baltimore. The Nighthawks score a mere eight points in the second quarter and trailed at halftime 32-19.
In the third, the Nighthawks started making more shots, but they still were having trouble handling Baltimore and three other Eagles who finished in double digits in scoring. Although the Nighthawks looked more poised, the score at the end of the third was 48-35 in favor of Eastern Alamance.
Northern outscored the Eagles 19-14 in the fourth quarter, when the shots that they were missing in the first half began to fall for the Nighthawks. The Eagles never let off the gas and cruised to a 62-54 victory.
Although the Nighthawks lost the game, head coach Bill Chambers saw some positive things from his team.
“We fought hard as we always do, we got down early and didn’t give up,” Chambers said. “That’s a good thing.”
The coach emphasized the importance of the missed opportunities to score early in the game.
“In the first half we missed a lot of shots. I thought we were getting easy shots but they just weren’t going in.”
Chambers also talked about the presence of Baltimore as a factor in the loss.
“We were giving up a lot of penetration. Their big guy (Baltimore) created problems for us all during the game.
“Our guys played hard and I was proud of their effort. We just have to play a little bit smarter, and a little better.”
The Eagles had three players reach double digits in scoring. Baltimore led all scorers with 21 points, Josh Robinson added 11, with Darius Kane chipped in 10.
Northern was led in scoring by Carson Lomax and Nolan Hodge who finished with 11 points each. Adonijah Whitley scored eight, Rayshawn Pleasant both scored nine.
The Nighthawks fall to (9-11) overall and (5-5) in conference play with the loss. Their next game is at home on Tuesday when they host Person.
The Eastern Alamance Eagles remain unbeaten on the season with the win. Their record is now (19-0) overall and (10-0) in conference play. The Eagles play host to Rockingham County on Tuesday.