Houston County was on pace to shatter its season high in points Friday — and then six minutes went by in which the Bears couldn’t manage to score a point. Northside ousted Houston County 77-69 on Friday after utilizing a 13-0 run during the third quarter.
Fueled by the 3-point shot, both teams scored at a high rate in the first half. Houston County (5-14, 2-5 GHSA Region 1-6A) gained an eight-point lead five minutes into the game, but Northside (10-11, 4-3) chipped away and trailed 22-20 after the first quarter.
The Bears used a 12-5 run at the beginning of the second quarter to extend their lead to nine, but the Eagles responded once again and tied the game at 47 at halftime. Houston County’s season high of 77 points was in jeopardy.
But then the shots stopped falling. Northside took control of the game and led 60-47 until Houston County knocked down a pair of free throws with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Bears trailed 62-53 heading into the fourth and cut Northside’s lead to 72-69 with less than two minutes remaining, but Houston County would fail to score another point as the Eagles pulled away with a coast-to-coast layup and three free throws at the end of the game.
Three who mattered
Trayvon Willis: The Northside guard led the way with 23 points, including five 3-pointers in the first half (four in the second quarter).
Sammy Mike: The Northside forward gave the Eagles an advantage down low and chipped in 12 points.
Andrew Brown: Brown led the Bears with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
The beginning of the second half was a bear for Houston County. The Bears took six minutes to finally score a point and fell behind during Northside’s 13-0 run.
Up and down the court: The pace from the onset was rapid, as the teams traded buckets. Within the first four minutes, 25 total points had already been scored.
Losing the touch: After shooting 7-of-9 from the 3-point line in the first half, the Bears shot only 1-of-9 in the second half. Houston County scored nearly as many points in the first quarter (22) as it did during the entire second half (23).
Height advantage for Northside: The Eagles boasted an advantage down low with Jaylan Sandifer and Mike, who combined for 23 points and helped Northside in the second-chance points department.
Missing two starters: The Bears were without leading scorer and rebounder Amari Colbert, who missed the game because of a football visit. Tyler Fromm also missed the game.
Also Friday night
Houston County senior Autumn Ring scored the 1,000th point of her career, but Northside pulled out a 40-28 win in the girls game.
They said it
Houston County head coach Stephen Walls on the first-half scoring: “We shot the ball extremely well. We were 7-of-9 from 3 in the first half. That’s not something typical of us to shoot that well. I expected it to be more of a low-scoring, grind it out type of game.”
Walls on start to second half: “They scored a lot of their points in the first half off second chances and on the block, so I knew those points were probably still going to be there in the second half… We shot the ball well in the first half, and if that didn’t happen in the second half, we were going to be in trouble. And we didn’t shoot it well in the second half.”
Walls on fight in team to come back: “These guys, they’ve been down a bunch, and they’ve fought and never quit. Down two guys like we were tonight and then to be down 13, the guys have a lot of pride in what they do.”
Northside will play at McIntosh County Academy on Saturday, while Houston County hosts Warner Robins on Tuesday.