—Submitted by Coach Todd Gudith
The Northville-Novi rival added a new chapter this season as the schools decided to play a varsity double-header with the varsity girls playing first followed by varsity boys action. Normally, when one team plays away the other team is at home on the same night, which makes it tough for fans.
Both varsity girl teams came into the game with identical 7-1 overall and 2-0 division records. In typical Northville-Novi fashion, this game was a back-and-forth battle. Neither team was able to do much in the 1st quarter as sophomore Emily Maresh scored all four of Northville's points in the quarter as the Mustangs trailed by just one.
The Wildcats broke through midway through the 2nd quarter on three point shots by Amanda Geiger and Kasey Lowney to put Novi ahead 12-6. Another Lowney three and basket by Jade Antolec in the final minute of the half extended the Wildcat lead to 17-6.
Northville regrouped and came out in the 3rd quarter with a basket by Maresh and three pointer by Kendra Brenner to close the gap quickly. Northville eventually took a 22-20 lead with 2 minutes left to play in the quarter, but Novi once again would strike late with a 6-0 run to regain the lead at the end of the quarter.
Novi's Kerri McMahan, who was held scoreless during the first three quarters on the night, made the Wildcats only two baskets in the fourth quarter to go along with their five free throws to seal the win as the Mustangs couldn't generate anymore scoring.
I thought we did a good job on Kerri, but Novi had some of their other players step up and make some big shots when they needed to. Novi is always an aggressive defensive team and they try to take you out of your comfort zone. We took some rushed shots because of that. Our girls responded nicely after halftime and got us right back into the game. But we didn't do a good job with time management late in each quarter, and Novi used that to regain the momentum with some late scores. It's still early in the division race, but now we have less room for error. We'll see them again in a couple of weeks and again in the district playoffs, and I'm sure they'll be some battles.
Northville, 7-2 overall, 2-1 division, hosts South Lyon on Tuesday.