The Providence Day girls’ basketball team isn’t used to losing anywhere they play, especially on their home court.
But that’s what happened Monday night to the four-time defending N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A champion Chargers, as Northwood Academy pulled out a tight game 57-52 in the Second Martin Luther King Showcase.
After Providence Day (17-3) imposed its deliberate pace for most of the first half, using an 11-0 run to go ahead 23-19 at the half, Northwood Academy turned up the heat.
Northwood Academy’s pressure had a cumulative effect, forcing 20 Providence Day turnovers, helping the visitors to 38 second-half points.
“Obviously, their strengths and our strengths are in different places. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out,” said Providence Day coach Josh Springer, referring to his team’s advantage in the post and Northwood’s perimeter strength. “Any time we have 20 turnovers and give up nearly 40 points in a half, we’re not going to win many games.
“They sped us up and forced us into mistakes. They are a really good team.”
Senior center Jatarie White (committed to South Carolina) led Providence Day with 31 points and 15 rebounds, but Northwood Academy senior guard and Wake Forest commitment Amber Campbell had most of the answers, scoring 25 points and getting five steals to go with four assists.
Campbell scored 17 points during the second half, including nine during the final quarter. She got timely contributions from teammates, with Erika Martin adding nine points, and Katelyn Powell (eight points) and Eden Crowell (six points) each adding two big 3-pointers.
“At halftime, we knew the game was being played at their pace, and we talked about speed the game up,” Northwood Academy coach Presley Singleton said. “Despite being limited with three fouls in the second quarter, Amber really came up big for us. She didn’t have her best game, but she just kept doing what she does and kept playing hard.”
After trailing 28-21 early in the second half, Northwood Academy made the first of several key second-half runs, first 8-0 , then 6-0 during third quarter, to take the lead.
A 5-0 run in the fourth turned a one-point game into a 46-40 advantage with 5 minutes, 8 seconds remaining. Providence Day never got the lead back.
Providence Day didn’t have its usual balance, but freshman forward Janelle Bailey added nine points and five rebounds while Nikyah Morgan chipped in six points.
Northside Christian 50, Charlotte Christian 47
Northside Christian senior Chelsea Cepeda hit the winning 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to give the Knights (13-5) a 50-47 win against Charlotte Christian.
The teams played a close game with a wild fourth quarter that included seven lead changes and four ties over the final eight minutes.
Cepeda sank what turned out to be the game-winner when 6-foot-4 Northside Christian freshman Eleah Parker – who ended up with 26 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks – tipped a loose ball to Cepeda.
Charlotte Christian (10-6), which led 38-36 going into the final quarter, got strong efforts from senior Morgan Franklin (11 points, six rebounds and six steals) and sophomore Kerstie Phills, who added 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
In the final game, Heathwood Hall of Columbia defeated Asheville’s Carolina Day 62-54.
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