Northwest High School Bruins

February 22, 2014

Keep on firing away

Perimeter attack keys Northwest Whitfield's state win over Carrollton

TUNNEL HILL — Instead of driving in for an easy layup, Northwest Whitfield High School’s Mallory Souther took yet another 3-point shot.

With every one that went in, the ending of Wednesday’s Region 7-4A championship game went from motivational fodder to a distant memory for the senior forward.

It was just as true for the rest of the Lady Bruins, who used a big third quarter to win 61-48 against visiting Carrollton in Friday’s opening round of the Class 4A state tournament. Northwest, which finished runner-up to earn the No. 2 seed for Region 7, travels to Stone Mountain on Monday to face Region 6 champion Redan in the second round. Redan beat Walnut Grove 97-38 on Friday.

Souther made a would-be game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds of Wednesday’s 50-45 loss to River Ridge. However, the officials called a traveling violation, negating the basket, and Northwest (24-4) settled for second place to the Lady Knights for the second year in a row. Souther who started for Northwest’s softball team as it won the Class 4A state titles the past two seasons, was frustrated by the turn of events in the Region 7-4A title game.

“She took it extremely hard after the loss Wednesday,” Northwest coach Greg Brown said. “But Mallory is a high-character kid and Mallory is a winner. Mallory has been part of a lot of wins and a lot of different things. She has gone through disappointment and she has gone through success.”

Despite Wednesday’s loss, the Lady Bruins had a figurative tomorrow on the basketball court two days later. They made the most of it. Senior point guard Halle Ford put Northwest ahead 25-24 with a 3-pointer early in the third quarter. After a Carrollton (22-7) basket, Ford found senior Macy Weeks for a layup and a 27-26 lead.

Souther followed with her first 3-pointer of the game at the 4:59 mark of the third quarter and forced a timeout for Carrollton, the No. 3 seed from Region 5. After Northwest forced a turnover and Ford came away with the ball in the corner, she rocketed a pass across the court to Souther, who made her second consecutive 3-point attempt.

Another steal from Ford followed, and with a three-on-two fast break, Souther received the pass and stopped near the same spot behind the 3-point line.

She knew it would go in. Northwest led 36-26.

“After hitting that first one, I felt more confident in myself,” said Souther, who finished with 14 points. “Once I start hitting shots, I feel more confident.”

The Lady Bruins advance to the second round for the first time since 2010, when they reached the state title game. Last season, Northwest lost at home to Marist in the first round.

Last year’s opening-round loss probably wasn’t on the Lady Bruins’ minds after Wednesday’s disappointment, though.

“There was no doubt we would bounce back,” Brown said. “To see us step up on the biggest stage of all erases everything from Wednesday night.”

Northwest had a strong night shooting. The Lady Bruins were 8-for-17 (47 percent) from 3-point range and 18-for-35 (51 percent) from the field.

They made 17 of 21 free throws, with Ford earning nine of her game-high 17 points from the foul line. She also had eight assists and six steals.

Weeks added 10 points and Bria Clemmons chipped in seven.

Brooklyn Emory led Carrollton with 16 points, while T.J. Jackson scored 13.

Carrollton coach Shon Thomaston said his players “knew coming in who the shooters were” both from scouting reports and watching Northwest’s region championship game.

“At the same time, it’s a lot different talking about it than actually doing it,” he said. “... A kid that shoots the ball like (Souther) did — I don’t think they missed many in the second half — that’s hard to defend.”

After scoring the game’s first five points, Northwest led 15-9 after Mary Kate Allen’s layup with 1:24 left in the opening quarter. Northwest led 15-11 when the period ended and 18-11 after Karli Williams’ 3-pointer.

Carrollton then scored the game’s next 10 points, with Malariah Ranson’s steal and layup putting the visitors ahead 21-18.

Carrollton led 23-20 at halftime after Northwest scored five points in the second quarter.

“In that third quarter, we were able to get in transition,” Brown said. “That’s where a lot of our (3-pointers) came from.”

After an 11-0 run in the third quarter, Northwest led 43-31 entering the final period. Carrollton trimmed that to 45-38 around halfway through, but Souther’s fourth 3-pointer of the game put the Lady Bruins back up by 10 with 3:14 left.

Their final 13 points came from the free throw line.

“They stole the momentum right away in the third quarter,” Thomaston said. “Almost as soon as we walked out the locker room, momentum was gone.”

Text Only
Northwest High School Bruins
  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coach brown file mw.jpg NW to continue established offense with new OC Brown

    There may not be anyone better than Greg Brown to continue the Northwest Whitfield football team’s fast-paced, fifth-gear style.
    Greg Brown, the girls basketball team’s head coach, will be Northwest’s offensive coordinator for the 2014 season after Crane accepted the Greenville (S.C.) High head coach position earlier this week. Brown has been an assistant football coach at Northwest for five of the past six seasons.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo