In a battle of unbeaten teams, Cabell Midland High of Ona, West Virginia, defeated Northwood Academy 52-42 to claim the championship game of the Battery bracket in the Carolina Invitational tournament on Monday.
The tournament included 48 teams from several states playing in six separate brackets with Northwood Academy being the only local school to reach the final of any bracket.
Cabell Midland connected on eight 3-pointers, including five in the first quarter when they built a 25-1 lead. Jayda Allie and Jazmyn Wheeler each scored 12 points for the Knights with Allie hitting four shots from beyond the arc. Blaire Vaughn added 10 points, while Rylee Allie and Autumn Lewis each scored nine.
Amiyah Ferguson was the lone Northwood player to reach double figures, scoring 16 points. The Chargers fell to 12-1 on the season.
“Very difficult start,” Northwood coach Ginnell Curtis said of the 26-4 deficit after one quarter. “We were somewhat timid, which was surprising, and they (Cabell Midland) really shot the ball well early on. I was really pleased with the way we fought back, but it wasn’t enough. We can learn from this.”
The Chargers trailed 9-0 before getting their first point of the game but failed to score again until the last seconds of the first quarter. Northwood rallied somewhat in the second quarter but trailed 35-17 at the break.
“I told the girls at halftime we could either quit or we could try to fight our way back and make a game of it,” Curtis said. “I knew we were better than we had played. I thought they showed some resiliency in the second half. We played with a lot more energy.”
Northwood dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Knights 16-6 in the period to trim the lead to 41-33. With 5:30 remaining in the game, Northwood trailed 43-38 and had possession of the ball, but the Knights managed two baskets to claim a nine-point advantage with four minutes remaining. Northwood got no closer than 10 in the final minutes.
“We’ve played a good early schedule, and the fun thing about this tournament is the opportunity to play some teams from outside our area,” Curtis said. “These games could help us in February when we’re trying to win a state championship. We hate to lose, but if we learn from it, we can accept it and move on.”