Avenging an early-season loss and throwing themselves back into the race for the District 8-2A district title, the Northlake Christian girls basketball team defeated Hannan 49-38 on Friday night in Covington.
Northlake Christian (13-6, 3-2) was led by Taylor Traugott’s game-high 20 points. Hannah Watts had 14 points and Kyren Whittington added nine in the win for NCS.
Hannan (16-8, 3-2) was led by the duo of Rachael Lepere and Kennedy Martin, who combined for 20 points.
The Hawks’ lone lead came with 5:56 to go in the third quarter on a basket by Martin.
Northlake Christian answered with an Isabel Herring jumper to make it 28-27, giving the Wolverines a lead they never relinquished.
“We all remembered that (Hannan) came out and beat us on our home court in the first matchup,” Traugott said. “Our goal tonight was to come out and do the same thing and we were able to accomplish it.
“Hannan is a good offensive basketball team, so we knew it was important to grab a lead early on and try to build on it.”
The Wolverines trailed for only 16 seconds.
The Northlake Christian lead shrank to 40-36 with 3:00 left on a basket by Lepere, but the Wolverines responded with a 9-2 run to escape with the big road win.
“With a win on the road like this, we absolutely believe this puts us back into the conversation for challenging Pine for the district championship,” Traugott said. “We were talking about that exact thing this week in practice and (Northlake Christian coach) Aaron Agresta told us that if that is something we want to do, we have to take it one game at a time.
“The first game of the week we went and beat Mount Hermon, and tonight we took care of business against Hannan.
“If we keep doing what we are doing, we are going to have a real chance to win this thing.”
Hannan had its chances in the final three minutes but missed seven consecutive free throws.
The game was scoreless until the 4:42 to go in the opening quarter.
Three 3-pointers helped the Wolverines take an 11-4 lead. Northlake Christian held Hannan to one basket in the first 12 minutes of the first half.
Down 16-11 with 3:46 to go in the second quarter, Hannan went on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 18-17, but Northlake Christian answered with a 6-2 run, pushing the lead back to 24-19.
A sloppy first half on the court for both teams, the open 16 minutes of action featured 20 combined team fouls..