Friday, December 1, the Northview Lady Titans (4-2, 2-0 Region 7-AAAAAA) won a nail-biter of a game 59-54 over the Centennial Knights (3-3, 1-1 Region 7-AAAAAA). The Titans were up at the half 31-27, but were looking to gain bigger lead against the Knights in the second half by making a few locker room changes.
“We really talked about playing with more effort at the half. We kept getting up, but we could never put it away,” Head Coach Chris Yarbrough said.
Centennial senior guard and forward Shekinah Guthrie was causing a lot of problems in the first half for this Titan team. Guthrie was the lead scorer, so the Titans were out to shut her down in the second half.
“We switched our defense to play a box one on her and I think it really slowed them down, at least a little bit offensively,” Yarbrough said.
It was a back and forth game the second half with sophomore point guard Asjah Inniss making great steals on defense and the Titans taking smarter shots. With the changes at halftime, the Titans were up 45-38 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Knights really turned up the heat. Struggling earlier to make three pointers, the team seemed to not miss in the fourth.
“We were patient most of the game, but in the end Centennial really started to catch back up and we started to take bad shots,” senior forward Camil Butler said.
With 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Titans Head Coach Chris Yarbrough took a timeout to settle the Titans down with a slight 55-52 lead.
“We wanted to pull the ball out and make them foul us or get a good shot out of it, which we ended up not getting, so they tied it up and we had to come back down,” Yarbrough said.
With 15 seconds left in the game, tied 54-54, Inniss drained a two-pointer to gain a huge 56-54 Titan lead.
“It couldn’t get more real than that moment. I struggled through the game with knocking down shots and when I made that one shot I felt extremely good, knowing that the ball was trusted in my hands, being able to get the job done. It was just an amazing breakthrough for me and most importantly my team,” Inniss said.
In the end, the Titans came out with the 59-54 win against the Knights.
Moving forward in region games, the Titans are looking to learn more and play at their best possible level in every game.
“We did a lot of things well, such as moving the ball and transitioning, but there are also a lot of things we need to do better. We need to start out stronger and look inside for our post players. We need to sprint and hustle more and be more open-minded and coachable,” Butler said.
The Titans are looking forward to their next region game against the Cambridge Bears (2-4, 1-1 Region 7-AAAAAA) on Tuesday, December 5.