By Brent Cooper
Raleigh, NC – The Northwood Lady Chargers stampeded to the 3A State Girls Basketball Title Saturday night defeating Enka High School 70-42 at Reynolds Coliseum on Kay Yow Court in Jim Valvano Arena on the campus of North Carolina State University. The Lady Chargers earned the first team state title for Northwood High School, which opened in 1972-73.
The Lady Chargers raced out of the gate with a quick 11-0 run in the game’s first two minutes behind tenacious defense and excellent ball movement aided by a suffocating full-court press. By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Chargers had built a 27-11 lead and would never look back. The Lady Chargers capped off their 3A State Championship Season at (31-1) by dominating the Lady Jets from start to finish.
The Lady Chargers were led by 3A Girls State Championship Most Valuable Player Senior Guard Olivia Porter who finished with 18 points on 7-11 shooting, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. 3A State Championship Most Outstanding Player Junior Center Te’keyah Bland added 17 points, 8 rebounds, and five blocks. Senior Guard Myla Marve added 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Senior Point Guard Natalie Bell led the Lady Chargers with six assists and tied for the team lead with three steals. Skylar Adams, the Lady Chargers fifth starter, added seven points, four rebounds, and four assists.
The Lady Chargers followed up the near-perfect first quarter by outscoring the Lady Jets 19-10 in the second quarter to build a 46-21 halftime lead. The Lady Chargers hit 5-8 3-Pointers in the first half and shot over 60% in each of the first two quarters to shoot 63.3% (19-30) for the first half. The Lady Chargers team-game was on full display throughout the first half as the Lady Chargers dished out 14 assists. The Lady Chargers also dominated the glass in the first half as they outrebounded the Lady Jets 16-8.
The Lady Chargers received significant contributions in 16 minutes off the bench from Junior Guard Gianna McManaman (seven points, three assists, two steals) and Senior Center Caroline Allen (four points and two rebounds). Each contributed outstanding defense in their time on the floor as well.
Though the Lady Chargers cooled off from their scorching, torrid pace from the first half in the second half, the Lady Chargers still managed to outscore the Lady Jets in every quarter and add onto their first half lead. For the game, the Lady Chargers outrebounded the Lady Jets 37-18, dished out 19 assists, collected 13 steals, and blocked six shots. The Lady Chargers led by as many as 32 in the 4th quarter.
Head coach and former Lady Chargers star Kerri Snipes led the Lady Chargers Basketball Team to its first State Title in her first year as head coach, following twelve years of great success and deep State Playoff runs under the guidance of former head coach and current Northwood High School Athletic Director Cameron Vernon. Coach Snipes built on the Lady Chargers’ basketball program foundation she inherited in year one and led the Lady Chargers on a 3A State Championship Title run Northwood High School, Pittsboro, and Chatham County will never forget.