After a nip-and-tuck first half Saturday against Southwest, Northeast reaped the benefits of a strong, across the board effort to pull away for a 69-52 win in the latest installment in one of Macons oldest high school rivalries.
Four Raiders scored at least 10 points in the win, giving Northeast a strong offensive balance throughout the game. Wycolvian Early led the way with 16 points followed by the 13 of Khailyl West. Santez Kinder added 12 with JaRodney Sanders scoring 10.
One thing we really preach is sharing the ball, Northeast head coach Kevin Grooms said. We did a real good ball of sharing it (Saturday), and some good things happened.
After a first half in which neither team led by more than five points and the lead changed hands five times, Northeast took control in the second half.
The Patriots led early in the third quarter, ahead 30-29 after three straight scores from Donovan Brown, who led Southwest with 21 points.
Northeast took over from there, however, and pulled away.
One thing we talked to the guys about before the game was that we need to set the tone, Grooms said. If we dont, someone else is going to come into our house and set it for us.
West moved Northeast back into the lead, 32-30 when he finished a layup and converted the free throw. The Raiders led with 6:30 to go and never trailed again, building their lead to 36-31 on a shot drained by Kinder.
Southwest countered, making a pair of shots from the free-throw line thanks to Justin Slocum to trail 36-33. The Raiders responded again, going on an 11-2 run during the next two minutes, sparked by a Randy Harpe 3-pointer and layup by Kinder, who barely stayed on his feet in the process of driving to the basket.
The Raiders cruised from that point on as their lead never got below nine points with their advantage being as large as 20 points.
We have moments when were getting better, but then well just revert back to making mistakes from time to time, Southwest head coach Robert Worthy said.
The Southwest girls took over following the first quarter against Northeast, holding the Raiders to a combined two field goals in the second and third quarters in a 57-36 win.
The Raiders led 10-9 after the first quarter but were unable to replicate the success the rest of the way as Northeast (5-10) succumbed to the defensive pressure of Southwest (12-2).
Northeast, which was led by Rayna Porter and Kinisha McElory with 11 points apiece, missed a golden opportunity to put more points on the scoreboard from the free-throw line but made just 13-of-36 attempts.
Southwest, keyed by NyAsia Holmes 16 points, led 32-21 at the half and pulled further ahead in the third quarter as it staked its way to a 45-25 advantage.
The Patriots were also led by Jazmine Burgans 11 points.