North Cobb sets tone early in win over Hillgrove
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
December 05, 2012 01:01 AM | 3616 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saxon Steele set the pace for North Cobb on Tuesday, with 21 points in the first half — and 26 overall — in the Warriors’ 
win over Hillgrove.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Saxon Steele set the pace for North Cobb on Tuesday, with 21 points in the first half — and 26 overall — in the Warriors’ win over Hillgrove.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
slideshow
KENNESAW — North Cobb didn’t miss many of its first-quarter shot attempts Tuesday.

Hillgrove, on the other hand, had trouble making getting the ball in the hoop.

The Warriors had one of their better shooting nights of their young season and got on a roll in the first 8 minutes of its Region 4AAAAAA game against the Hawks, establishing a double-digit lead and maintaining it before handing Hillgrove its first loss with a 62-50 score.

North Cobb (4-1, 3-0) shot 58.8 percent from the field (10-for-17) in the first quarter and went on small spurts to build a 23-12 lead by the end of the period. Hillgrove was only 21 percent successful (3-for-14), making it difficult for it to keep up.

“Our first quarter was one of the better offensive halves we played all year,” North Cobb coach Terry Gorsuch said. “We shared the ball and took our shots and did knock down a good percentage.”

As North Cobb continued its stellar play in the second quarter, Hillgrove (5-1, 2-1) continued to struggle and allowed the Warriors to build an 18-point lead at the half.

Saxon Steele provided most of the fuel for North Cobb with 21 points at the end of the half and 26 for the game. He was 6-of-7 in the first half and made all four 3-point attempts.

Steele’s first 3 of the game gave North Cobb its first double-digit lead, and his second 3 late in the first quarter upped the lead to 11 points after Hillgrove had cut it to single digits.

Steele’s latter two 3-pointers came in the second quarter — the second giving North Cobb a 33-15 lead with roughly 4 minutes left.

The second half started with consecutive Saxon layups that kept Hillgrove at a safe distance, and he made another layup late in the fourth quarter to deny the Hawks a chance at making a late surge.

“He’s a good guard offensively and is tough to guard when he plays in the confines of our offense,” Gorsuch said. “That leads to good things for our team.”

Hillgrove outrebounded North Cobb in the first half, particularly on the offensive side, but North Cobb’s interior defense prevented many of Hillgrove’s second-chance shots to fall.

The Hawks were also in foul trouble in the first half, with 11 total fouls amongst their starters. B.J. Brown already had four at the break, making him a non-factor in the second half.

“(North Cobb is) a great team and they pushed us around early,” Hillgrove coach Ed Morris said. “They did a great job defensively, got some good looks and knocked them down early.”

Kyle Castlin was Hillgrove’s lone double-figure scorer with 17 points. Despite having four fouls, Brown scored seven of his eight points in the second half.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

North Cobb 54, Hillgrove 49:
Kyrie’ Chandler hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the undefeated Lady Warriors gain some separation after clinging to a two-point lead at the half.

Chandler’s efforts helped North Cobb (6-0, 3-0 Region 4AAAAAA) build a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter, and the Lady Warriors were 4-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final minutes to thwart a late Hillgrove comeback attempt.

Chandler finished with a team-high 16 points for North Cobb, with Briah Woods adding 14.

Mackenzie Engram poured in 17 points to lead the Lady Hawks (5-1, 2-1). Aleigha Cass scored 13.

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