Northview's Kendall Jessing battles Anthony Wayne's Ashley Mitchell (34) and Sara Zankl (40) for a rebound on Friday night.
In a game of major momentum waves, Northview’s huge one in the middle was just enough to offset host Anthony Wayne’s big ones at the beginning and end of a 51-50 Northern Lakes League girls basketball victory on Friday night.
The Wildcats (13-4, 8-3 NLL) got game highs of 19 points and 14 rebounds from 6-foot-1 junior post player Kendall Jessing, whose free throw with 8.5 seconds remaining was the game-winning point.
“Once we saw we were down we really knew we had to get the win, so we pulled it together and put as much effort and energy into it as we could,” Jessing said. “We knew this was a big game and we had to go right at them.”
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Jessing’s free throw proved to be the difference when Anthony Wayne senior Jasmine Bonivel (12 points, 7 rebounds) sank a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.
“I told the kids, it’s all about keeping your composure,” Northview coach Brittaney Cymbolin said of her team’s rally from an early 11-point deficit. “We know what we do is effective, so we have to trust in what we do. Our kids did that.
“We went high-low a bunch of times, and we told them to just ‘Chip away. A stop and a score, a stop and a score.’ They were really confident with that, and I was proud of them tonight.”
The Generals (11-4, 8-3), who were led by 17 points from junior guard Victoria Burdo, began the game in control, leading 15-9 after one quarter. AW had pushed its lead to 23-14 on a Burdo free throw 3:33 before halftime.
Anthony Wayne's Lindsey Hood, left, knocks the ball away as she guards Northiew’s Maddie Cole. Northview is 13-4.
At that point, the Generals had forced the Wildcats into 13 turnovers and harassed them into 5-of-18 shooting from the field.
But, as if flipping on a light switch, Northview cleaned up its act and put together a monster 34-13 run over a stretch of 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
Northview junior guard Maddie Fries sparked the surge on a driving bucket 2:30 before halftime to get the Wildcats within 23-16. That was the beginning of an 8-0 spurt to end the half.
Northview junior Kendall McCoy was fouled attempting a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer, and she sank two of the three resulting free throws to send her team to the break up 24-23.
Anthony Wayne's Victoria Burdo slips past Northview's Maddie Fries to get off a shot Friday night. Burdo led the Generals with 17.
Anthony Wayne was still within 32-31 after Burdo’s six-footer from the lane with 3:18 left in the third quarter, but that’s when Northview resumed its surge.
Jessing tallied the game’s next five points, Fries added a steal and layup, and, after an AW basket by Lindsey Hood, Northview’s McCoy (nine points, nine rebounds) and fellow junior Maddie Cole (13 points, six rebounds) closed the quarter with buckets for a 43-33 lead.
“We did not want to lose this game,” Cole said. “We had to work it through the post, and as soon as we did that we started scoring more, and we got back into the game.”
Starting the fourth quarter, Jessing and Cole sandwiched inside baskets around a free throw from Bonivel to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 47-34.
“Early on we did a lot of the things we needed to be successful, moving the basketball and playing under control against their pressure,” AW coach Jeremy Terwilliger said. “We made the extra pass and did a good job of converting on the offensive end.
“Late in the second quarter Northview got a little more physical with us and we didn’t respond very well. We took some quick shots that really hurt us. In the second half I’ll give them a ton of credit. They got out and ran, and we weren’t very good in transitional defense.”
But the Generals managed to dig deep and regain their early game form in mounting an impressive comeback.
Abby Allen’s 3-pointer got AW within 47-39, Sara Zankl followed with a an inside bucket and, after a Jessing free throw, Burdo’s fourth 3-pointer of the game made it 48-44 with 4:12 remaining.
Jessing powered in a basket from the left block to stem the tide, but Allen nailed another 3-pointer to get the Generals within 50-47 with 3:36 left.
But Anthony Wayne missed on three 3-pointers on chances to tie the game, and Jessing’s final point sealed the win for Northview.
The Wildcats were 20 of 48 (42 percent) from the field, 8 of 17 from the line, and outrebounded AW 34-26. The Generals were 19 of 46 (41 percent) from the field, 5 of 7 from the line, and matched Northview’s 17 turnovers.
Anthony Wayne had won the earlier NLL meeting Dec. 10 at Northview, 48-39.