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Basketball Varsity Girls, Forest Hills Northern @ Northview – 2 Mar, 2012 7:00pm

Graphic Design by Rylee Storms & Hannah Lemke, Multimedia Productions

Northview overcomes early deficit to down Forest Hills Northern for Class A district crown

John Raffel|Advance Newspapers, March 02, 2012 9:46 p.m.

Forest Hills Northern senior Anisa Shaw (5)looks for someone to pass the ball to after picking up the dribble and being defended by Northview junior Maggie Tisdale (44) . – (ADVANCE photo by JEFFREY CUNNINGHAM)
Northview junior Mackenzie Crawford (10) gets the shot off but is fouled by Forest Hills Northern Teigan Mitcham (33). – (ADVANCE photo by JEFFREY CUNNINGHAM)

Taylor Shomin wanted to be a part of a district championship effort. She got her chance Friday night.

Shomin and teammate Mackenzie Crawford both scored 20 points as Northview defeated Forest Hills Northern 59-47 in the Class B title game at Northview Friday night.

Northview, 15-7 will play in the Rockford regional next week.

“It’s a big thrill,” Shomin said. “My last district title was my freshman year (2009). I didn’t get to come in at all. I contributed this time.”

“It’s hard to explain, I’ve never played for a district championship before,” Crawford smiled. “I wanted to give it my all, so did everyone else.”

The Wildcats overcame early deficits to take control of the game in the second quarter.

“I’m so happy for them,” said Northview coach Rick Albro. “They worked so hard.  I’m so elated for this group of young ladies. They bought in early on and weren’t ready to have their season end.”

Northview, thanks to a strong second quarter, entered the second half with a 29-21 lead. Taylor Shomin scored twice and Maggie Tisdale once to open a 35-23 Northview advantage early in the third. Shomin sank a triple midway in the quarter for a 38-25 advantage. Crawford scored off the give-and-go from Shomin for a 41-30 lead late in the third.

Crawford’s layup early in the fourth gave Northview a 45-32 cushion. The Wildcats started expanding their lead at the free-throw line. Two straight by Katelyn Reynolds, who followed with a jumper seconds later, put Northview up 51-34. Anisa Shaw’s 3-pointer kept Forest Hills Northern alive.

Teigan Mitcham’s triple at the two-minute mark cut the Wildcat lead to 54-44. Terese Jenks’ 3-pointer cut it to 55-47 with 1:06 to play.  Reynolds netted two free throws at the other end to seal the victory

“In the second half, we decided not to press,” Albro said. “We had the tempo the way we wanted. Knowing we were going to make some shots, you need your legs to make shots. We were great from the free-throw line.”

The season ends for FHN at 13-9.

“We’re a very balanced team,” said Huskies coach Stephanie Hare. “We’re a team that worked very hard and never gave up. We were scrappers and went after it.”

Starters Kat Krukowski, Mitcham and Jenks fouled out for the Huskies.

Falling behind 5-0 early, the Huskies retalliated with eight unanswered points to open the game. Danielle Harrison’s six points paced the team to a 10-6 lead.

Kruskowski’s 3-pointer late in the first spurred Forest Northern to a 17-15 advantage going into the second quarter.

“Our coach told us they would start off kind of strong so we expected this,” Crawford said. “We knew we had to get it done. We weren’t going to let it slip through our fingers.”

“We wanted it badly,” Shomin said. “We just threw everything out on the court as a team and just did what we had to do. We dropped back into a 2-3 because their drives were killing us and our main focus was pushing up the court to tire out their legs.”

“We started out man-to-man because we thought that would create the tempo we wanted,” Albro said. “We went to the zone which could have been dangerous the way they were shooting the ball. We rebounded well out of the zone.”

But Northview’s defense limited the Huskies to four points in the second quarter while the Wildcat offense produced 14 for the 29-21 halftime lead.

“The second quarter, we got into foul trouble and had key players that had to sit down, Hare. “It got us out of our rhythm. Once were out of that rhythm, we didn’t quite bounce back.”

Crawford swished a key 3-pointer in the second.

“They shot the lights out. They hit six of their first eight shots,” said Albro. “I liked the tempo, we wanted to play up-tempo. We’ve been a strong second quarter team all year long. I liked where we were at the end of the first quarter.”

“We took some charges that led us off,” Crawford said. “It was a couple of good things at a time that led into something big.”

Shomin also dished out five assists. Tisdale grabbed nine rebounds for the Wildcats.

Shaw led Forest Hills Northern with 12 points.

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