North Shore girls upset Cypress Falls, 54-48, in playoffs
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Courtney Williams dribbled down the court and fiercely hurled the game ball up in the air.
The upset over Cypress Falls was finally complete. And the rush of emotions surged through the North Shore forward as she celebrated her team’s 54-48 victory Friday night at the Campbell Center.
“It feels good,” said Williams, who finished with 14 points. “Especially because everyone doubted us. But rankings and records don’t mean anything to us.”
With the victory over the No. 1 ranked team in the area, the Mustangs – who were also ranked No. 2 – advance to the regional finals to play Elsik on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the same venue. The Rams cruised past Clear Creek 63-56 in the second game of the 5A-Region III doubleheader.
But the underdog mentality clearly motivated North Shore (37-2) all game. With Williams double-teamed for most of the game, the Mustangs relied on different role players to propel them throughout each quarter.
Monique Bedford’s moment in the spotlight came in the fourth quarter. With the Eagles (37-2) trimming an eight-point deficit, the junior guard sparked the Mustangs during the last four minutes of the games, knocking down 11 consecutive points to preserve its lead.
“The thing about our team – you don’t know who’s going to do something,” North Shore coach Allison Campbell said. “Sometimes people are going to make assumptions that certain people are going to do things like Courtney.”
“Mo just got into the zone and she’s so fast. As soon as (Cypress Falls) matched up with us, (Bedford) was going to be the person who would be an issue for them.”
Katira Young proved to be just as troublesome for Cypress Falls. The senior forward outmuscled the Eagles’ Larissa Scott in the paint, hauling down offensive rebounds that produced second-chance baskets.
But the Eagles managed to threaten the Mustangs early on. By double-teaming – and occasionally triple-teaming – Williams and limiting her to three, first-half field goals, Cypress Falls cruised to a 22-20 lead at halftime.
“It was difficult in the beginning,” Williams said of the double-teaming. “But my teammates had my back. It showed teamwork and that we have heart.”
The collaborative effort on the defensive end, though, helped the Mustangs capture lead in the third quarter.
After allowing Eagles’ leading scorer Macy Moore to drain an early bucket, North Shore’s stingy perimeter defenders held the senior guard scoreless until the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
“It’s painful,” Moore said, holding back tears. “This is going to hurt for awhile, but it was awesome to go that far. I’ll remember these days for the rest of my life.
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