On Saturday February 11, 2017, the Northview Titans (25-3, Region 7-AAAAAA 19-0) beat the Alpharetta Raiders (18-10, 12-4) 58-38 in the Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament at Johns Creek High School.
“We played really well against Alpharetta, especially the first quarter considering the fact they couldn’t score against us; the only point they made that quarter was from a free throw,” Katie Armstrong said.
Northview played very well for the majority of the game despite missing two players in guards Megan Cistulli and Madison Malvin. Makayla Davis started in place for the injured Cistulli, who hopes to be back for the first playoff game this Friday. Despite the two missing players, the Titans thrived defensively. Over the course of the game, Northview had double digit blocks and steals as well as forcing the Raiders into over a dozen turnovers.
The Northview Titans still played well offensively as they were up 14-1 after the first quarter. Northview was still up a substantial amount going into halftime only giving up 10 points; 6 points off of free throws and two layups in the entire half. After Alpharetta got the one point of off a free throw in the first quarter, Alpharetta didn’t score another point until there was less than four minutes to go in the half.
Despite being down more than 20 points going into the second half, Alpharetta staged a good comeback, cutting the Titans’ lead to as low as nine points toward the end of the third quarter. Despite Northview’s lead being cut, they maintained their solid defensive play and figured out an effective press break strategy to continue putting points on the scoreboard.
“We knew they were going to make a run at us, so I told them at halftime don’t let up. They rushed the ball a little bit too much right out of the half. We weren’t taking good shots, but then we were able to settle down and adjust our press break just a little bit, and we were able to get a few easy buckets to get it back out to 13 or 14,” head coach Chris Yarbrough said.
Ashlee Austin was the leading scorer in the game with 16, followed by 15 for Titus, and 11 for Richards. The Titans defense and rebounding was the main reason Northview won in the dominant way that they did. They will host a home playoff game on Friday, February 17 in their first game in the state tournament.
“Even though I couldn’t play, I thought our team played very well in the absence of Maddy and I. I should be able to play on Friday and we need to continue the level we have been playing at,” Megan Cistulli said.