Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GIRLS HOOPS: Arthur Hill vs. Flint Northern

**Corie Buchanan looks to drop an assist** ** Kiah Douglas finds an easy bucket**
**Chaniese Turner chases down a lose ball**
**Juanita Cochran pulls up for two**

Flint- the S.V.L. title picture became a little clearer last night as Arthur Hill was able to rally back and take a 55-44 decision over Flint Northern in a league game at the Coca-Cola Holiday Classic hosted by Flint Central. Both Northern and the Hill entered the season as my favorites to win the conference crown along with Midland Dow.

Arthur Hill used two fastbreak lay-ups from Kiah Douglas to spark a 6-0 run and take a early 11-4 lead. Northern got consecutive baskets from Chaniese Turner and Latosha Beasley to cut the lead to 11-10 heading into the second quarter. In the second quarter Turner found her groove and swung the momentum back into Northern's favor. Turners' 3-pointer gave the Lady Vikings a 22-21 halftime lead.

The third quarter belonged to Turner and her Viking teammates as Northern took a 37-27 lead with 2:38 to go in the third quarter. But slowly Arthur Hill fought their way back into the contest.

But while Turner owned the third quarter it was Arthur Hill's Corie Buchanan who took over the fourth quarter. The junior's steal and lay in tied the game at 42-42 and senior center, Juanita Cochran, connected on a pair of free throws to give the Lumberjacks a 44-42 lead, their first of the second half. Buchanan continued to do her thing as she made 3 baskets on a Arthur Hill 10-0 run take a 54-42 lead to put Northern away.

BREAKDOWN: this game came down to coach's adjustments in the second half. Coming out of halftime Northern switched to a 1-3-1 zone and Saginaw just couldn't get any high percentage shots off, allowing Northern to take a 10 point lead. In the fourth quarter the Hill switched to an aggressive 2-3 trap and Northern just couldn't handle the pressure, careless turnovers allowed Buchanan and Douglas to get out in transition to go on the big run in the end.

PLAYER OF GAME: Juanita Cochran, Hill- dominated Northern inside, Northern was forced to keep two bodies on the 6-2 center and that opened up scoring chances for the rest of the Lumberjacks. Cochran knew this and chose to pass the ball instead of forcing shots. Cochran seems to have a better understanding of the game and her position which led to 13 points, 16 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 assist.


Corie Buchanan, Hill- took home the tourney MVP plaque and continues to make her case as one of the state's top juniors. She dominated the fourth quarter after being a ball distributor for the first three quarters, she showed great court vision and was right on target with some nifty no-look passes. Finished with 14 points, 4 steals, and 5 assist.

Kiah Douglas, Hill- led the Jacks with 16 points and 9 steals. Continues to out hustle any opponent she matches up against.

Chaniese Turner, Northern- Turner played a strong game even though she just couldn't get shots to fall. She still led her team with 13 points and was the only Northern player to not register a turnover.

Latosha Beasley, Northern- had her hands full against Cochran but she was smart enough to try and take Cochran off the dribble which led to Cochran getting into foul trouble. Beasley registered a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Kierra Bell, Northern- I'm not sure what's going on with Bell right now because she just hasn't played like herself, she hasn't been as aggressive and she seems to just be going through the motions right now. Northern needs Bell to be successful.

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