HANAHAN — The Northwood Academy girls basketball team lost eight players from last year’s team that finished as the SCISA Class AAA state runner-up. But the Chargers are undefeated this season and will play in today’s Bojangles Carolina Invitational Atlantic Division championship.
It doesn’t hurt when one of your returning players is the one and only Amber Campbell.
It seems like Campbell has been playing for Northwood Academy forever, and that’s because she was an impact player even before she was in high school. She was a star as an eighth-grader and is a supernova as a junior. She scored 26 points in a 69-44 victory over Wakefield on Friday to reach the 2,500-point mark in her career.
“She never ceases to amaze,” said coach Presley Singleton after her team ran its record to 11-0. “For her to improve her stats is amazing. Last year, she averaged 27 points per game, and you figure that’s it. But she is averaging 34.5 points a game this year. She’s hitting 71 percent of her 2-point shots and that’s up from 62 percent. She’s amazing.”
The team is actually scoring more points than last year’s edition. That’s because teams are double and triple-teaming Campbell and she is finding the open player for an easy bucket.
That’s what the Chargers did against Wakefield. Antoinette Davis scored 22 points and Katelyn Powell chipped in with 10.
Northwood Academy will play Franklin Road Academy in today’s 2 p.m. championship game.
Singleton says it helps her team to play in high-profile tournaments. The Chargers played in a tournament at Dutch Fork High School earlier this month and will play in a one-day showcase tournament in Charlotte on Martin Luther King Day.
“This helps a lot,” Singleton said. “There are times when we play weak teams. We seek out the best competition. Our thinking is playing better competition makes us a better team. This tournament was a little scary because I don’t recognize the names of some of these teams.”
The SCISA picture includes Northwood Academy and Pinewood Prep as the teams to beat.
Pinewood topped Northwood, 52-51, last season to win the SCISA state title. Pinewood jumped to a 31-19 halftime lead, and a valiant Chargers rally fell short.
“Being a rival means Pinewood is always in the back of our minds,” Singleton said. “The one thing that make this team different is we have some good outside shooters.”
Northwood (69): Campbell 26, Powell 10, Andrews 3, Cohen 6, Kappel 2, Davis 22.
Wakefield (44): Mason 5, Sipes 3, Jenkins 6, Smith 12, Tyeryar 2, Granruth 16.
Northwood 12 13 27 17 —69
Wakefield 9 18 8 9 —44