Friday night’s Lancaster-Northwestern girls basketball game was not only a matchup of two of the top teams in Region 3-AAAA but also two of it’s top post players, who also happen to be bound for college.
The Bruins’ Phoebe Johnson won the post battle with Paige Samuelson and eighth-ranked Lancaster won the war over the Trojans 48-42 to remain undefeated in region play at 8-0. Johnson, who is headed to UNC Wilmington to continue her hoops career, led all scorers with 20 points, and proved to be too much for Northwestern to handle inside.
Samuelson, who announced this week she will attend Cornell University, totaled nine points, but only two after halftime as Johnson bothered her every shot and would not allow her room to operate.
Courtney Cunningham-Heath led the Trojans with eight in the first half but did not score after intermission.
Northwestern made a living at the free-throw line in the first period, making 8-of-12 from the charity stripe to only trail 13-12 after the first eight minutes.
“The difference in the game was we didn’t make shots and they did and we stopped getting it inside,” Northwestern coach John Bramlett said. “We had some open looks that we missed. Phoebe for them has gotten so much better with her footwork.”
Fellow UNCW commit Kyia Hough had 15 points for the Bruins and Ieshia Love led the Trojans with 18.
Lancaster 48 Northwestern 42
LANCASTER Kyia Hough 15, Amirah Steward 3, Aliyah Davis 6, Mia Flowers 2, Phoebe Johnson 20. NORTHWESTERN Ieshia Love 18, Aubriana Thompson 2, Briana Lewis 3, Paige Samuelson 9, Courtney Cunningham-Heath 8, Alexis Looney 2.
FOULS LHS 14; NHS 15.
RECORDS LHS 11-4, 8-0 Region 3-AAAA; NHS 11-7, 5-3.
Lancaster 45, Northwestern 43: The Bruins got four big 3-pointers from Keifon Cogdell as part of his game-high 16 points and took advantage of poor free-throw shooting by the Trojans to pull out their first Region 3-AAAA win.
The Bruins were 6-of-10 from the line while Northwestern made just 8-of-18 free ones. The Trojans were 1-of-7 from the line in a second period that saw them go from leading 16-6 to just 21-19 at the break. Northwestern had five different players score in the first quarter. Lancaster finished the half on an 11-1 run after trailing 20-9. The key was Cogdell’s three trifectas in the period, polished off with his last one at the halftime buzzer to cut the lead to two.
Trojans’ head coach Larry Davis emerged on the visitor’s bench early in the third quarter after JV coach Alex Fair coached the first half. Clenzo Ross, the team’s leading scorer, joined Davis on the bench for a large portion of the final eight minutes. Ross led Northwestern with 12 points.
Davis saw the Bruins go an 11-0 run in the third period that gave them a 33-25 advantage with 1:50 left in the frame. Will Chitwood hit one of his two threes to begin the fourth quarter and cut the Lancaster lead to 35-34 but the Trojans could never retake the lead. They trimmed what had been a seven-point lead to 45-43 when Ross scored with under ten seconds left but they were unable to foul and the Bruins threw the ball high into the air to run out the clock.
“Our league is arguably the toughest in the state,” Lancaster coach Ricardo Priester said. “We are growing up and this means a lot. Hopefully, we can add some more to it.”
Lancaster 45 Northwestern 43
LANCASTER Calvin Crawford 6, Quasheon McCarter 5, Keonte Mack 4, Nehemiah McGriff 2, Deuce Dunlap 3, Keifon Cogdell 16, Taron Heath 4, Lewis Johnson 5. NORTHWESTERN Malcolm Anthony 6, Dewayne Hemphill 1, Ja’Reg Feely 1, Clenzo Ross 12, Will Chitwood 6, Tracus Chisholm 9, Peyton Solesbee 2, Malik Sims 4.
FOULS LHS 17; NHS 14.
RECORDS LHS 7-12, 1-7 Region 3-AAAA; NHS 15-4, 6-2.