Friday , December 01, 2017 - 10:06 PM
WASHINGTON TERRACE — It was a game at a different time, a different place and between different teams.
This season, Friday’s game was a battle of undefeated teams at the 30th annual Harry Burchell Classic at Bonneville High School.
With realignment changing the landscape, this non-region matchup between Northridge and Roy ended with the same result as the Knights captured a narrow 52-49 victory despite 31 points from Royals center Josie Williams.
“I told (Roy coach) Carolyn (DeHoff) I can’t stand playing them. Don’t like playing Roy, it’s always a battle,” Northridge coach Chris Smith said. “It’s a dogfight every single game, no matter what. It’s definitely a rivalry with Roy, always tough to battle against them.”
Northridge (4-0) raced to a 10-point lead in the second stanza and maintained that edge late midway through the third quarter.
“The girls are unselfish and play for each other. When we swing the ball and share, good things happen,” Smith said. It was awesome to see them swing the ball around the way they did. Then we went away from what was working.”
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A six-minute dry spell that lasted into the fourth period saw the Royals rally back to within five points at 42-37 with 6:06 remaining in the game.
“Last time we played them in the play-in game, we had a 10-point lead with a few minutes to go and they made some big shots and we had mental lapses, kind of like we did (tonight),” Smith said. “They came back; our team didn’t finish strong.”
Williams scored seven straight Royals points late in the quarter to close the gap to 51-49 with 1:39 left, a run that featured an uncharacteristic technical foul on Smith.
“I’m not one to make it about me; I’m not one to make it about the refs,” Smith said. “I felt at the time, the fouls called on us were fouls. But I felt we weren’t getting calls at the other end. I felt they missed the foul on Lydia (Mashburn) just before she fouled out. I felt like I had to send a message or statement.”
Northridge added one final free throw in the closing seconds for the final score.
Mashburn led the Knights with 15 points and Brooklyn Perkins checked in with 11.
“I’m proud of the girls. They play together and trust each other. A year ago we would have lost this game,” Smith said. “We’re getting better and have more confidence. We’re not expecting to lose, we’re expecting to win. That’s huge.”
Williams’ huge game for Roy (2-1) came on 11 field goals and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Laura Hadley added six points for Roy.
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