After losing twice to Carver during the regular season, the Northwestern girls basketball team got off to a quick start and stayed on top to beat Carver, 67-31, in a Class 3A, Region III semifinal game last night.
The game was rescheduled from Thursday night because of a water problem in the gym that resulted from Thursday's rain, Northwestern coach Lillian Brown said.
Northwestern (13-4) will play host to Howard in the region final tomorrow at 6 p.m. Howard beat Walbrook, a team that has also beaten Northwestern twice this season, Thursday night.
The No. 2 Wildcats' run-and-shoot offense caught the No. 3 Bears (11-6) off guard from the start. Northwestern took an early 11-0 lead, and by the end of the first quarter, it was 20-4.
"I told them that it wasn't going to be an easy win, so just make like it is practice and do your best," Northwestern guard Darnetta Wilkens (13 points) said.
Wilkens, along with Tiffany Watson (team-high 14) and Katina Hurt (13 points), led a balanced offense for the Wildcats.
Defensively, center Lakeisha Robinson had five blocks and as a team, the Wildcats held Carver's leading scorer, Vida Milberry, to nine points, all in the first half.
Northwestern came out strong in the second half behind Watson,a freshman power forward who made four straight baskets as part of a 12-0 run in the last three minutes of the third quarter.
"I think they got a little up after their last two games and they decided they could go for it," Brown said about her team's first appearance in the state regionals. "They came up to me before the game and said, 'We're going to go out there and get this game,' and they had a good time doing it."
Carver went on a 7-2 run to close out the the second quarter, but Northwestern held a 32-17 lead at the break.
Latarsha Marshall was second in scoring for the Bears with seven points. Yesterday Butler, the lone senior on the Wildcats squad, had seven points and a game-high seven assists.