CARY — Danielle Moore was encouraged by her first career game as head coach of the Panther Creek girls’ basketball team, despite a loss to visiting Northwood on Tuesday night.
The Chargers from Pittsboro pulled away for good in the middle of the fourth quarter, scoring the last 14 points of the game to win 43-29.
“I think we have a lot of potential, but we’re young. So we’ve got some growing to do and some maturing to do,” Moore said. “Especially in some game situations.”
The Catamounts have just three seniors on this year’s team, and none has averaged more than five points a game on varsity.
Marissa Sims, who didn’t play varsity last year, led Panther Creek with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Sophomore Caila Sprull (nine points), freshman Gabby Rogers (six), junior Kate Ulveling (two) and junior Anna Huryn (two) rounded out the scoring.
Sprull had a game-high nine rebounds.
Panther Creek trailed 10-7 after the first period but rallied to take a 19-17 lead at halftime thanks to Ulveling’s banked jumper with less than 10 seconds to go.
But in the second half, Northwood seemed to compose itself. Chargers point guard Shontai Totten exploded for 11 of her game-high 16 points in the final two quarters.
Moore said she is pleased with the way her Panther Creek team can get up and down the floor. But Northwood began to take better care of the ball in the second half – cutting turnovers from 18 to eight – limiting how much Panther Creek could run.
“I liked our effort. We faced some adversity and pulled it back 19-19 (in the third quarter),” Moore said. “It’s all in the growing process.”
Northwood, one of the top 2A teams in the state over the past two seasons, now shares a league with the reigning 3A state runner-up (Chapel Hill), the defending PAC-6 champion (Southern Durham, having moved from 4A) and formidable programs in Cedar Ridge and Cardinal Gibbons.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps