N'western's defensive tactic tames Patterson Box-and-one set propels Wildcats to 77-60 win

Class 4A/Girls basketball

March 07, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After being pushed to overtime by Patterson during the regular season, Northwestern had a surprise for the Clippers in yesterday's regional semifinal.

The Wildcats sprung a box-and-one defense on point guard Anita Hyman. Even though Hyman responded with a triple double, the defense rattled the Clippers (15-10) long enough for the host Wildcats to build a big lead en route to a 77-60 victory.

The Wildcats (20-4) advance to Saturday's Class 4A North region championship against No. 13 Western, an easy winner yesterday over Perry Hall.

Hyman, a 5-foot-6 senior, finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, 10 steals and five assists, but it wasn't enough to offset the early problems. The box-and-one forced so much initial trouble that the Wildcats ran up an 11-point lead in the first quarter.

"We took too long to adjust to it," said Hyman, whose team rarely faces the box-and-one. "Once we got our heads in the game it was too late to come back. They put a lot of pressure on me, and that was a lot to get used to. I had to work harder than I usually do."

Melita Dennis and Keonna Weaver alternated the chore of defending Hyman while the Wildcats got their offensive spark from Keisha Todd (32 points, six assists), Nicole Eades (19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists) and Dennis (11 points, four assists). The Wildcats shot 46 percent from the floor and hit six three pointers.

Todd scored off three straight turnovers in less than a minute to DTC give the Wildcats the early 17-6 lead. A 15-point spurt capped by Eades' three-pointer pushed the Wildcats' lead to 32-12 two minutes before the half.

Eades, a 5-8 forward who missed the teams' first meeting, gave the Clippers trouble inside even though they outrebounded Northwestern, 44-37. She scored on three put-backs and fed teammates off two offensive rebounds.

Patterson staged a number of mini-rallies, most sparked by Hyman. In a late 12-4 run that brought the Clippers within 11 points, she had a hand in every point with eight points, three steals and an assist. Her 20-footer brought the Clippers within 69-58 with 1: 45 left.

"By far, she's the best I've seen this year," said Wildcats coach Dwayne Burroughs. "We put the box-and-one on her, and she went to the basket, she drove, she found the open shot, she found the open person. It was unfortunate on their end that they weren't catching a lot of her passes, because some of those were excellent passes, and they just weren't holding onto it."

Shaunte Dunn had 12 points for the Clippers while Thelma Brown added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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