Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed in advancing to its fourth straight Division I girls basketball district final, topping Northview 60-35 Thursday night in a semifinal at Central Catholic’s Sullivan Center.
The Eagles (21-3) got double-figure scoring from four players, led by Jayda Worthy and Kaayla McIntyre, who had 14 points each. Tierra Floyd had 12 points and Christiana Jefferson added 10 for Notre Dame, which will face Perrysburg in the district final Saturday at 3 p.m. at Lake High School.
“Overall, it was a great team win,” Eagles coach Travis Galloway said. “Having four girls in double figures in any given game, let alone in a district semifinal, is a great night.
“We have a very good passing team, and they’re very unselfish. It showed tonight.”
Northview (18-7) was topped by Kendall McCoy’s 11 points, and the Wildcats also got eight points from Kendall Jessing.
From the opening tipoff, the seventh-ranked Eagles clamped down on Northview defensively, making it tough for the Wildcats to find any rhythm in their offense.2a1acccc-51b7-4443-ae47-5f455a0ce4ae
Notre Dame held Northview scorless for the game’s first six minutes and 24 seconds until Jessing broke the drought with an inside bucket for her team’s only points in a 12-2 first quarter.
“We set the tone right away,” Galloway said. “We held them scoreless for the first six minutes. Offensively, we had some stuff not fall early for us. If we didn’t play as well as we did defensively, it could’ve been a different story early.”
The Eagles pushed the lead to 26-10 by halftime, led 40-25 after three quarters, and iced things with a 20-10 fourth quarter in which they hit six of their final eight shots from the field, and seven of 10 free throws.
“We came out strong,” Floyd said. “Against good teams you can never start out slow. We’re playing great right now. We feel we’re reaching our peak. “If we keep playing the way we are, we’ll be right where we were last year. This year we want to win it all.”
A model of efficiency, Notre Dame was 18 of 35 (51 percent) from the field, broke down the Wildcat defense enough to go 23-of-33 from the foul line, and committed just three turnovers in the game.
On the defensive end, the Eagles held Northview to 12-of-36 shooting (33 percent) from the field. The Wildcats were seven of 10 from the line, committed 13 turnovers, and were edged on the boards 24-22 by Notre Dame.
Northview trimmed Notre Dame’s lead to 13 points on four occasions in the second half, but never got any closer.
“Notre Dame plays tenacious defense,” Wildcats coach Brittaney Cymbolin said. “They’re all over you on the floor the entire game, and our kids just aren’t used to that all the time.
“We tried to battle pretty hard but, in the end, sometimes you’ve just got to tip your hat to the better team. They have five [starting] players who are really good, and I wish them the best of luck in the tournament.”
The Eagles look to reach their third straight regional, matching up with sixth-ranked Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg (21-3), which advanced to Saturday’s district final by beating Lima Senior Thursday night.
Notre Dame beat Perrysburg in the regional semifinals the past two years, then advanced to the state semifinals.