Offensive struggles hurt Pine in loss

Published 11:00 am Monday, January 23, 2017

COVINGTON — Pine’s Lady Raiders played solid defense throughout Tuesday’s District 10-2A opener, but struggled from the floor in a 50-34 loss to Northlake Christian School on the road.
“We had a lot of little put back shots three or four feet from the goal and we didn’t make them,” Pine coach Mary McGinnis said. “We shot really really poorly tonight. We’ve been scoring over 55, 60 points a game lately and we just couldn’t make shots. You can’t beat a good team when you can’t make shots.”
The game was close until the fourth quarter.
Pine led 3-2 early in the first quarter. Northlake Christian’s Kyren Whittington, who led all scorers with 22 points, hit two free throws to give the Lady Wolverines the lead.
Her free throws began a 7-0 run, as Northlake Christian made steals on the next two possessions. Whittington had the first one and capped off the turnover with a layup. Natalie Newberry got the second and finished it off with a 3-point play. Northlake Christian led 9-3 with 5:44 left in the first quarter, but 26 seconds later, Breyanna Brown closed the gap with a 3-pointer for Pine.
That started a 7-0 run for the Lady Raiders. Bethany McGinnis found Savannah Kennedy for two on a baseline out-of-bounds play. Brown, who posted 21 points, gave the Lady Raiders the lead, 10-9, with a bucket at the 3:18 mark.
Northlake Christian then put up five in a row on a 3-pointer by Whittington and an offensive rebound by Newberry, who hit the put back.
The quarter of runs continued as Pine scored the period’s final four points. Brown found McGinnis for three with 48 seconds left and Brown split free throws with 24.9 seconds to go.
It was 14-14 after one quarter.
The offenses struggled in the second period, as the teams were just 52.7 seconds away from playing a scoreless quarter.
The only points came on a 3-point play by Whittington with 52.7 seconds on the clock to make it 17-14, which was the halftime score. It was also the only free throw attempted in the second period by either team.
The third quarter was close throughout.
Northlake Christian built a 30-21 lead with 1:21 left, but Pine tallied four in a row on free throws by Brown and a follow up shot from an offensive rebound by Kennedy with 44 seconds left.
Whittington pushed the lead to eight with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Lady Wolverines led 33-25 after three quarters.
Northlake Christian scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter. KeraGrace Watts hit a three, Ally Reynolds knocked down two free throws and Whittington got inside for two. It was 40-25 with 4:33 left in the game.
After the run, Pine was only able to get within 10, as Northlake Christian went on to the 50-34 win.
Kennedy posted eight points while McGinnis had three and Hannah Ard added two for Pine.
Newberry posted 18 points for Northlake Christian.
Reynolds had five, Watts put up three and Kaitlyn Walker added two.
It was Northlake Christian School’s eighth straight win.