Bul­lock scores 40, North Point girls reach re­gion fi­nal

Bul­lock ties school’s sin­gle-game scor­ing record as NP girls oust Braves in 4A East sec­tion fi­nal

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

North Point’s Aliyah Bul­lock doesn’t say much on the basketball court. She just let’s her game do the talk­ing.

In Wed­nes­day night’s Class 4A East Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal, the se­nior guard was the piv- otal an­chor on both ends of the floor, ty­ing North Point’s sin­gle-game scor- ing mark with 40 points in the top-seeded Ea­gles’ 75-57 vic­tory over the sec­ond-seeded Chopti- con Braves.

“I didn’t want this to be my last game,” Bul­lock said. “When Chop­ti­con started to go man-to-man things start to open up and ev­ery time the ball left my hand it felt like the bas­ket was go­ing to be good. We have dif­fer- ent play­ers that can step up at any given night. Tonight I wanted to give my team a spark and I was able to do that.”

North Point (22-3 over- all) ad­vances back to the 4A East Re­gion cham- pi­o­nship game where it will host Anne Arun­del County’s Sev­erna Park, sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. Fri­day. Sev­erna Park knocked off Old Mill, also of Anne Arun­del, 4440 in the Sec­tion I cham- pi­o­nship on Wed­nes­day.

“We put high ex­pecta- tions on these kids and our goal is to win a state cham­pi­onship,” North Point head coach Mike Ser­pone said. “It feels good to get back to the re­gion fi­nal. The girls have worked hard to get to this point.”

Bul­lock’s scor­ing mile­stone was the most for any girls player in North Point his­tory. She tied se­nior Jalen Gibbs on the boys team for the school’s sin­gle-game scor­ing record. Gibbs scored 40 points on Jan. 13 in an 8785 win over Great Mills.

“Aliyah was feel­ing it and at­tack­ing the rim,” Ser­pone said. “She got into a great flow and there was no stop­ping her tonight.”

With Chop­ti­con lead­ing 39-36 at half­time, North Point started the third quar­ter with a 6-0 run capped by a short jumper off by sopho­more guard Latavia Jack­son (12 points). The Braves cut the lead to 42-41, but the Ea­gles pushed the lead to three on a bas­ket by se­nior guard Necole Hope.

Chop­ti­con tied the game at 44 on a three-pointer by se­nior guard Kyaira Pri­est at the 4:22 mark, but Bul­lock put North Point back on top by two with a layup.

The Braves tied the game at 47 on a three­p­oint play by ju­nior Holly Click with 3:12 left in the quar­ter, but the Ea­gles was spurred by nine straight points by Bul­lock, in­clud­ing a three-point- er at the buzzer to give North Point the 56-47 lead af­ter three quar­ters.

“We just wanted to push the ball up the floor. We knew if we did that, we could out­run them. They were get­ting tired in the sec­ond half,” said Bull- ock, who scored 23 points in the sec­ond half, knock- ing down 11 of 13 from the foul line. “I’d never thought I score 40 in a game, but I’m just ex­cited to get back to the re­gion fi­nal. Our goal is to win a state ti­tle.”

Chop­ti­con did not score its next field goal un­til Made­line Gre­gory (teamhigh 18 points) knocked down one of her four threes in the game with less than 2 1/2 min­utes

re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion when North Point was up 66-52.

“In the first half we weren’t ex­e­cut­ing on the de­fen­sive end and we weren’t com­mu­ni­cat­ing,” Ser­pone said. “But in the third quar­ter we only gave up eight points and we went to the old school half court manto-man de­fense and you couldn’t ask for any­thing bet­ter.”

North Point fresh­man guard Sy­nia John­son contributed with 11 points and Hope, the team’s lead­ing scorer this sea­son, added nine while spear­head­ing a stel­lar de­fen­sive ef­fort that held Chopi­con to just 18 sec­ond-half points.

Se­nior guards Aryanna Hutch­er­son and Pri­est fin­ished with 15 and 10 points, re­spec­tively, each foul­ing out late in the fourth.

“North Point could not miss and [Bul­lock] had the game of a life­time,” Chop­ti­con head coach Joe Cook said. “We strug­gled to stay with her in our 3-2 zone and in man. I loved our ef­fort, but North Point has an­other gear that is un­be­liev­able.”

The Braves fin­ished with an over­all record of 21-4 and its sec­ond straight 12-0 sea­son in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

North Point se­nior guard Aliyah Bul­lock goes up for the layup at­tempt as Chop­ti­con’s Holly Click and Sarah Sweeney look on in Wed­nes­day night’s Class 4A East Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal. Bul­lock tied the school’s sin­gle-game scor­ing record with 40 points, 23 com­ing in the sec­ond half, in the Ea­gles’ 75-57 vic­tory.

PHOTO BY WAL­LACE BAR­RON

North Point sopho­more Latavia Jack­son drives to the bas­ket as Kyaira Pri­est of Chop­ti­con trails from be­hind in Wed­nes­day night’s Class 4A East Re­gion Sec­tion II fi­nal. Jack­son fin­ished with 12 points as the Ea­gles won 75-57 over the Braves.

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