A new era of girls basketball tipped off for Northview on Friday night.
Brittaney Cymbolin debuted as the Wildcats coach and guided Northview to a 49-42 victory at Whitmer in a season opener.
Cymbolin, who replaces longtime coach Jerry Sigler, is pleased about getting the first game out of the way and with a win.
“Tonight, I think the first-game jitters came out, but at the end, we got the win,” Cymbolin said.
Kendall McCoy pumped in 15 points, including six in the fourth quarter, and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Maddie Fries added 10 points, including a two 3-pointers, while Maddie Cole finished with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Kendall Jessing chipped in eight points and five boards.
The Wildcats were determined to help their new coach collect her first win. Sigler retired after 37 years.
“A little sloppy, but a win is a win and I think we came out and played hard,” McCoy said.
Northview committed 17 turnovers, but Whitmer was guilty of 20.
Perhaps more significantly, the Panthers struggled at the free-throw line, making only 11 of 24 shots. The Wildcats sank 14 of 21, including an 8 of 11 in the final quarter.
Whitmer’s Keshyra McCarver pumped in 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds,
“I’m actually pretty proud of my team because we came out and fought pretty hard and gave a good effort,” McCarver said. “We didn’t make free throws and some shots didn’t fall, but we worked hard tonight.
“It’s the first game of the season and we got 20 more games, so it’s going to be a good year for us.”
Samantha Meinen added seven points and five rebounds ,while Abigail Sarabia finished with six points and five rebounds for Whitmer.
Whitmer trailed the entire second half after holding a four-point lead briefly in the second quarter before going into halftime tied at 21.
“We went back and forth and had some untimely turnovers, obviously give their defense some credit for that,” Whitmer coach Sean Plemmings said. “We played extremely hard and defensively, I have no problem with their effort. I look forward to getting better from this.”
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-2 advantage. However, the Panthers clawed back and took the lead in the second quarter when Sara Semler drained a 3-pointer to give Whitmer a 17-16 edge with 3:59 left.
Tricia Kimmel increased the lead to 20-16 when she swished a 3-pointer with 2:56 left. But Northview got even at the break.