District 9-2A basketball action opened with a flurry on the Northlake Christian campus recently as the school swept past cross-parish rival Pope John Paul II.
In the girls' matchup, the Wolverines had no trouble with the Jaguars, breaking out to an early 41-0 lead on its way to an easy 55-3 win.
Natalie Newberry led the way with a game-high 14 points in the first half, heading to the bench for the remainder of the game.
“We came into the game not thinking that we were better than them and played our hardest to win the opening district game,” Newberry said. “We passed the ball well and took advantage of every turnover.”
The Jags committed 31 miscues in the contest as each team agreed to use a running clock in the second half. Pope’s lone bucket game on a 3-pointer by Lindsey Nave.
Most of the NCS starters saw only first-half action. Kyren Whittington finished with eight points followed by Keragrace Watts, who went for six.
The nightcap turned out to be the highlight, as Northlake Christian boys picked up their second win of the season with a 43-39 victory.
Both teams were hard pressed for any offense in the first half, which ended with NCS leading 15-8.
The pace picked up in the third period as Pope captain Christian Hasenkampf scored 19 points to give the Jags a 34-26 lead going into the fourth period.
But the Wolverines were not about to give up. Kobe Square scored seven points, while center Jacob Herrington stepped up to score 11 points in the final frame to tie it with 34 seconds remaining.
Herrington, an offensive lineman on the football team, had missed 11 straight free throws before his fourth-period heroics, when he hit 3 of 6 to ice the game at 43-39, finishing with 17 points.
“I’m trying to settle my aggressiveness down coming from football to basketball,” Herrington said. “I was struggling with those foul shots, but the biggest ones went down for me. I can’t say enough about my team. Everybody did their part to give us the biggest win of the season so far.”