HUNTERSVILLE North Mecklenburg’s girls basketball team has played well in winning most of its games this season, and not so well in winning others.
But Vikings coach Jennifer Baker was ready to put Friday night’s 4A sectional win against West Mecklenburg in a whole new category ... and not a flattering one, at that.
“It was a hot mess,” Baker said after North Mecklenburg pulled away in the second half to beat the Hawks 61-52.
“This was a different game, and I don’t think our kids understood what really was at stake.”
At stake was a berth in next week’s 4A Western Regionals in Greensboro, with the Vikings (26-3) heading back for the first time since 2008. They will face either Alexander Central or Porter Ridge next Friday at the Greensboro Coliseum Annex.
Jasmine Bullock scored 11 points and Jasmine Cash 10 for North Mecklenburg, which remained undefeated on its home court (11-0) by winning its third straight game.
During Friday’s sectional final, there were 56 turnovers and 65 fouls – with four Hawks players fouling out – and nearly half the points came from the free throw line (55).
“I thought the game would be a little more free flowing,” West Mecklenburg coach Antoine Avinger said. “But everything was being called, and we couldn’t put our best players on the court at the end.”
Among the casualties for the Hawks – whose last regional trip was in 1990 – were Jasmine Gray, who had a game-high 18 points before fouling out early in the fourth quarter; and Toni Thorn, who had eight points before going out midway through the third quarter.
Tameka Darrisaw had 11 points for West Meck.
Even getting into foul trouble, the Hawks opened strong on North Mecklenburg in the first half, bolting to an 8-3 lead midway through the first quarter and leading 14-7 early in the second before the Vikings cut it to 25-22 at the break.
“At halftime, I told them, ‘Now, do you understand what is going on?’ ” Baker said.
“I challenged them. If they didn’t get out there and play just as scrappy as they were, we were staying home.”