WARNER ROBINS -- The Northside Eagles advanced to the second round of the GHSA Class AAAAA basketball tournament with a 64-51 victory over Mount Zion-Jonesboro on Saturday, making history in the process.
The win gave the Eagles their 21st victory of the season, which is a program record. This is the first time Northside has advanced past the opening round since 2005.
We worked hard all year, and just to get over that peak of making it out of the first round feels great, senior guard Trey Dennis said. Im just so happy right now I dont know how to explain it. Its just great to be a Northside Eagle.
This is incredible, Northside head coach Scott Wynn said. We accomplished a whole lot (Saturday). We had a monkey on our back at this school with not getting out of the first round since 2005. We played tight at times, but Im just really excited for our school.
Northside opened the game red hot, building a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but it failed to keep the momentum. Mount Zion used an 11-3 run in the second quarter and held the Eagles to only seven points as it trimmed the Northside lead to just one at the break.
We came out ready to play, and I think (Mount Zion) was a little shellshocked at what hit them, but then they won the second quarter, Wynn said.
The Bulldogs took the lead early in the second half, but Northside was able to build a four-point lead at the end of the third. A 6-0 run by the Bulldogs tied the contest at 47 with 4:21 to play. The Eagles fired back with a 6-0 run of their own, capped by a three-point play from Davonta Willis with 2:29 remaining.
Mount Zion was able to trim the Northside lead back to three with 2:10 left in the game, but Northside sealed the game from the free-throw line with a 10-of-15 performance in the fourth quarter.
Weve struggled early and middle of the season, but late in the year the guys in the game have settled down and made free throws, and thats been good to us, Wynn said. We havent always made them the entire game, but weve done well in the fourth quarter.
Mount Zion attempted 38 3-pointers and made just nine as the Eagles extended their defense to locate the shooters.
(Shooting 3s) is what they do, and we knew that going in, Wynn said. We knew they were going to hit a few, and its the wide-open ones that hurt your feelings, but I thought we did a pretty good job of making it tough.
Northside will hit the road to face Jenkins, which beat Hardaway 82-56.