Palmetto Christian drops home opener to Northwood
Down three starters in their home opener Friday, the Palmetto Academy Eagles couldn't outlast the Northwood Academy Chargers in a 60-49 loss.
To counter Northwood's athleticism, Palmetto Christian (1-3) stayed in a 2-3 zone that closed off the Chargers' penetration and forced them to shoot over the top. While the Chargers struggled to find their offense early, the Eagles capitalized off a 10-point first quarter by Chris DeMarco to take a 15-11 lead. DeMarco finished with a team-high 19 points go to go with six rebounds and three steals.
“We really focused on getting back, packing it in and forcing them to make their shots,” Palmetto Christian head coach Brian Stanley said. “We handled their pressure pretty well in the first quarter and got some easy buckets off that.”
Northwood turned up its pressure in the second quarter. The Chargers' full-court trap frustrated the Eagles guards in the backcourt, leading to turnovers and easy baskets. Tayvaughn Major scored 11 of his game-high 25 points in the second quarter to help erase the Eagles' advantage and build an 11-point Chargers lead heading into halftime.
The Chargers carried the momentum into the second half, opening with a 5-0 run to drop the Eagles into a hole they wouldn't overcome. Palmetto Christian twice came within 11 points but couldn't get the lead down to single digits. With starting point guard J.T. Waters away at the North-South all-star football weekend, the Eagles struggled to break the Chargers' pressure throughout the third and fourth quarters, instead washing away promising scoring spurts with turnovers.
“I really though my point guard Isaiah (McGrew) played a heck of game but J.T. is a guy that, because of his quarterback mentality, he's so hard for a defense to press and we missed some of that tonight,” Stanley said. “We all made mistakes. We started picking up our dribble, not being decisive, running away from the ball, and got away from what we were doing. They really cranked up their intensity and I thought they did a good job in their press and finishing and taking it to us so you have to credit them.”
Ben German grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points for the Eagles, while Mitch Hogan scored 10 with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
For Northwood, Douglas Dwight scored 15 to complement Major's big night.
“I was proud of the way our guys kept fighting and I think we grew as a team tonight,” Stanley said. “It'll be nice to get some of our guys back because now we have five guys that played a large portion of a game. We have a solid eight going into the rest of our schedule.”
Palmetto Christian hosts Faith Christian Academy Monday at 7:30 p.m.
PCA girls fall
Wake Forest signee Amber Campbell scored a game-high 28 points to lead Northwood past the Palmetto Christian Lady Eagles 79-26 in the night's opener.
Campbell scored 13 in the first quarter to help the propel Northwood to a 29-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Palmetto Christian (1-3) struggled to matchup with Northwood's size and athleticism most of the night. Northwood's defense constantly came away with steals that turned into quick baskets with outlet passes to guards streaking down the court.
Already leading 50-14 at halftime, Northwood won the third quarter 17-8 to put the game away.
Lizzie Wilson led Palmetto Christian with 11 points, Annie Pascutti turned in seven, and Katie Wilson, Elizabeth Goolsby and Rachel Wilson each added two.
Palmetto Christian and Faith Christian tip off Monday at 6 p.m.