Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris and her Tigers don’t seem quite willing to give up the Big 8 Conference crown just yet.
Chapel Hill sophomore Alliyah Chaplin scored a game-high 28 points Wednesday to lead the Tigers to a 59-44 victory against Northwood in girls basketball. The Tigers’ win, avenging a Dec. 15 loss at Northwood, snapped a Northwood victory streak at 12 consecutive wins.
With its first defeat since a 62-49 loss Dec. 10 at Southern Durham, Northwood fell to 17-3 overall, 6-2 in Big 8 games. Chapel Hill improved to 14-5, 5-2, and tightened the league race with Southern, which was 13-4, 6-1 before a game Wednesday at Oxford Webb.
“That was just a butt-kicking,” Northwood coach Cameron Vernon said seconds after his players had exited Tiger Gym. “They beat us just about every way you can get beat.”
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Northwood, ranked No. 12 by the News & Observer, never led Wednesday at Chapel Hill.
Chaplin scored 10 points in the first quarter as the Tigers grabbed an early 14-10 lead. Autumn West scored six points as Chapel Hill used a 13-5 run to open up the margin to 27-17 just before halftime.
Back-to-back layups by Mariah Jacobs put Chapel Hill up 53-36 early in the fourth quarter, and junior Ti’Mia Chaplin followed with a 3-pointer that ended a string of eight consecutive scoring possessions for Chapel Hill and gave the Tigers their biggest lead at 55-37 with 3:48 left on the clock.
Ti’Mia Chaplin ended up with 12 points, and West added 10
Chapel Hill, the defending Big-8 champion in girls basketball, lost 66-40 Dec. 15 at Northwood in what was the first conference game of the season for both teams.
Northwood’s margin of victory in that game was the biggest for any Chapel Hill opponent since the Tigers’ 59-28 loss at Oxford Webb in 2009, the last year that Chapel Hill had a losing record (1-15). Since then, Chapel Hill has gone 139-25.
Two 3-pointers by Northwood’s Bryn Aydt helped narrow the Tigers’ 27-21 halftime lead to 34-32 with 1 minute, 40 seconds left in the third quarter, but Chapel Hill broke open the game for good with a 19-4 run midway through the second half.
They said it
“You can’t count us out yet. Northwood handed us our lunch down at their place, but we had three starters foul out in that game. This was an entirely different game. My girls came to play tonight. – Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris
Three to know
Alliyah Chaplin, Chapel Hill: The Chapel Hill sophomore was 2 rebounds short of collecting her ninth consecutive double-double. She finished with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in Wednesday’s game. She hit 9-of-13 tries from the field – including 1-of-2 beyond the arc – and was 5-for 6 at the line.
Bryn Aydt, Northwood: led the Chargers in scoring with 10 points, 8 less than she scored in Northwood’s win against Chapel Hill on Dec. 15.
Harry Giles, Oak Hill Academy: Rated as the nation’s No. 1 recruit by ESPN and others, the 6-9 power forward watched the game from the second row of the bleachers, and his presence seemed to fire up the Tigers.
By the numbers
41: the point differential between Chapel Hill’s 66-40 margin of loss at Northwood and Chapel Hill’s margin of victory on Wednesday.
32.0: Northwood’s second-half shooting percentage from the field (7-of-20).
62.5: Chapel Hill’s second-half shooting percentage from the field (15-of-24).
0: conference losses for Chapel Hill in its previous three seasons.
4: consecutive conference titles for Chapel Hill.
3: number of times that Northwood has finished second in its conference over the previous four years. (It finished fourth in the Big 8 in 2014.)
0: losses by Northwood on its home court so far, where it’s 9-0. But the Lady Chargers are 5-4 on the road.