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Hillcrest girls jump to big lead, beat Northridge


Northridge’s Shameka Tubbs shoots a jumper Friday. Tubbs and Kiana Johnson combined for 41 points, but Hillcrest shut down their supporting cast. (Photo by Erin Nelson)


TUSCALOOSA | The Hillcrest High School girls basketball team established a big lead in the first half Friday night and couldn’t be caught.

Charity Brown scored 12 of her 20 points in the first half, and the Lady Patriots went on to defeat Northridge 61-49 in a Class 6A, Area 13 game.

Hillcrest (16-8, 4-1) held a 30-15 halftime lead after Kyiesha Mills scored with an offensive rebound. The Lady Patriots led 41-28 at the start of the fourth quarter.

"Any time you’re playing a rival, it’s very important that you kind of set the pace early and put the pressure back on them to try to achieve something offensively or defensively," Hillcrest coach Jerome Elliott said. "Once we came out and began to score and make some stops on defense, I think it set the pace for the rest of the game.

"I thought we did a decent job defensively. We had some breakdowns, more in the second half than in the first. Overall, I thought we executed the defense very well from the standpoint of the way we put it together. My main concern was rebounding. I thought we gave up some rebounds to them that I felt like we should have gotten."

Along with Brown, three other Lady Patriots scored in double figures for the Lady Patriots. Mills had 18 points, Ambrica Johnson 13 and Ariel Minor 10.

Senior guard Kiana Johnson scored 24 points to lead Northridge (14-9, 4-1). Shameka Tubbs had 17 points and eight rebounds.

Northridge coach John Cain saw his team collect plenty of offensive rebounds, but the Lady Jaguars had trouble converting them into second-chance points.

"We had a lot of point-blank chances," Cain said. "It would have been a big difference-maker if we could have had a few of those just drop. Sometimes the ball falls and sometimes it doesn’t. Instead of a big lead for them, it might have turned out differently. But you’ve got to give them credit. They played good defense, and they attacked the boards."

Hillcrest plays its last area game Tuesday, hosting Tuscaloosa County. Northridge travels to play Bessemer City on Tuesday.

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.