Both the Northwood boys’ and girls’ basketball teams completed season sweeps of Chatham County rival Jordan-Matthews with home wins on Saturday.
In the evening’s opener, Northwood’s girls squad got off to a fast start en route to a dominant 60-38 victory, with senior guards Kristian Eanes and Kadie Snipes leading the way on offense.
Following that game, the Northwood boys had no trouble with the Jets, winning 75-43, and playing a fast-paced brand of basketball in doing so.
For coach Cameron Vernon’s girls’ team (16-5, 7-2), the win was their second in less than 24 hours after beating conference foe J.F. Webb Friday night, and one that was built on strong play on defense from the jump.
“I really liked our intensity on defense. That’s a key for us,” Vernon said. “We’ve been lacking that. We had a two-game losing streak against Orange and Southern. I felt like we lacked some of that toughness and intensity. Last night and tonight, I thought we brought that.”
The Chargers smothered Jordan-Matthews (4-13, 3-2) early on, forcing six turnovers in the first quarter and 11 by halftime as they took a 33-19 lead into the break.
While Northwood wasn’t perfect – it looked vulnerable on the boards at times, while also getting into a bit of a lull near the end of the first half – Vernon was still pleased with how his group performed.
The duo of Eanes (18 points) and Snipes (12 points) helped run the show, as the Chargers continued to push on in the second half.
A poor start to the game left the Jets trying to dig themselves out of a deep hole, though coach Melody Dark was pleased with the 13-point performance freshman point guard Avery Headen turned in.
“Avery has progressively gotten better throughout the season,” Dark said. “She’s accepted a role that most freshman her age and size would be intimidated by.”
In the boys’ game, Northwood (7-12, 1-7) overcame a bit of sloppiness early on, and ultimately used its athleticism to run past a Jordan-Matthews team (2-16, 0-5) that has now lost 13 consecutive games.
Not afraid to play uptight far away from the basket on defense, Northwood made life tough for the Jets all night, and was able to consistently turn their turnovers and bad shots into easy looks at the hoop on the other end of the floor.
The Chargers held just a five-point advantage after the opening eight minutes, but outscored Jordan-Mathews 23-7 in the second quarter to bust the game wide open.
One of 12 Chargers to score, small forward Cam Goins led his team with 19 points. Point guard Jaelon Johnson also made a difference off the bench for Northwood, scoring 18 points, while also proving to be a threat to score from the outside.
While Jordan-Matthews certainly struggled to deal with the Chargers’ athletic ability, several of its troubles were self-inflicted, especially at the free throw line.
“I think at one point it was 21 free throws our scorekeeper had given us, that we missed. That was late in the fourth quarter,” first-year Jordan-Matthews coach Rodney Wiley said. “And that’s not even counting the 1-and-1s that we probably missed, too.”
Guard Myreke Artis led Jordan-Matthews with eight points.