North Point girls swim team ends L-town’s 153meet win streak
Hope, Eagles win fourth straight
North Point cruised to a 68-39 win over Great Mills on Friday in a Southern Mary- land Athletic Conference nondivision girls basketball contest, with newly-minted 1,000-point scorer Necole “Coco” Hope dropping 27 points in the victory.
Hope outscored the Hor- nets by herself through three quarters, and Aliyah Bullock wasn’t far behind with 20 points of her own. Kyla Dan- iels had 14 for Great Mills, but no other Hornet managed double digits.
North Point (9-2 overall) has won four straight, outscoring opponents by an average of 44 points over that span. The loss halts Great Mills’ win streak at five games, a disappointing follow-up to their thrilling double-overtime victory against Calvert two days earlier.
Hope got it going early, knocking down a pair of three-pointers and scoring eight of the first 10 points for the Eagles. Great Mills (7-3) struggled to match her
length and quickness, as Hope routinely found open space to shoot and also picked up two steals on the defensive end.
North Point squandered a key opportunity to stretch their lead late in the first quarter, pulling down four offensive rebounds in a single possession but failing to score.
End of the first quarter: Hope 10, Great Mills 7.
The Hornets heated up from there, with Daniels and Kirsten Hamilton hitting shots from beyond the arc to open the second period. After a jumper by Hope, Mya Jenkins drained a long three-pointer as the shot clock expired to bring Great Mills within two.
North Point head coach Mi- chael Serpone had seen enough and quickly took a timeout to settle his team. The Eagles responded with a 10-0 run, capped off by Hope intercepting a pass and driving the length of the floor for a layup.
“They went on a quick 8-0 run, they hit some shots from the outside and we weren’t closing out on the shooters,” Serpone said. ”We took a timeout, and kinda woke them up a bit with an elevated voice.”
Halftime: Hope 18, Great Mills 18.
Bullock came out firing in the second half, pouring in seven quick points and pushing the Ea- gles’ lead over 20. North Point scored 17 points before the Hor- nets made a shot, with two Toyin Allen free throws accounting for their only points during the run.
Great Mills mustered just two fields goals in the quarter, both by Hamilton, and struggled to break the North Point press. Hope added another steal and coast-to-coast layup, and closed the period with a corner jump shot and a pair of free throws.
“The North Point offense, their transition is fast, and when they slow you down, they execute,” Great Mills head coach Matt Wood said. “We did a good job in the first half, but they ended the first half on a strong run and in the second half it just kind of continued.”
End of the third quarter: Hope 26, Great Mills 25.
Serpone emptied the bench early in the fourth quarter, with Bullock and Hope playing spar- ingly and the North Point reserves taking over. Great Mills showed signs of life, as Daniels made two three-pointers and scored nine points in the peri- od. The Hornets outscored the Eagles 14-13, and held Hope to a free throw albeit in limited ac- tion.
Hope scored 27 points for the second time this week after equaling the total against Mc- Donough two days prior. She is averaging 19.8 points on the sea- son and has scored over 20 in four of her last five games.
“She’s a great player, versatile. Even if you’re covering her outside, she’s still got the shot,” Wood said. “1,000 point scorer, obviously she can score many ways.”
While Hope is the centerpiece of the offense, the Eagles have variety of scoring options. Bullock (14.1), Latavia Jackson (11.8) and Synia Johnson (10.3) all average double digits and make for a very imposing offense. The Eagles are putting up nearly 65 points a game and have surpassed that mark in four consecutive contests. Stopping Hope is tough enough, but trying to slow down the whole offense will be extremely difficult for opponents down the stretch.