By Troy Treasure
North Shelby entered halftime of its game Thursday, January 9 with the confidence a 9-0 second period-ending surge can generate.
The carry-over effect resulted in a convincing 62-42 home victory versus Atlanta.
Caroline Linberger scored a game-high 23 points for the Lady Raiders (7-4). Ava Williams added 15 while Presley Stoneburner had 11.
Leading 33-25 at the half-time break, NS increased its advantage to 40-29 midway through the third period on Linberger’s bank-shot plus one from the foul line. Back-to-back buckets by Stoneburner pushed NS to a pair of 13-point leads.
The Lady Hornets (4-6) got within 11, 45-34, later in the quarter but North Shelby scored six straight to end the period on a pair of Lilly Cook free throws and two Linberger baskets.
NS out-scored Atlanta 13-6 in the final furlong.
“They executed the game plan to perfection,” North Shelby coach Landon Daniel said. “We knew Atlanta could shoot but they were pretty streaky, so if we could just contest (defensively), we’d be OK.”
Daniel also cited good work by the Lady Raiders on Atlanta senior center Madison Peavler prior to her second-half departure due to injury.
“We needed to keep her off the boards. She’s a garbage truck, she just gets offensive rebounds and puts it back up,” Daniel said. “Her getting hurt helped us, but she got into foul trouble and got tired, too.”
The first period was a see-saw affair. NS assumed its first lead, 5-4, on a Williams field goal at the 5:40 mark. Later in the quarter, Lalaine Treasure’s 3-pointer pushed North Shelby to a 14-12 advantage. Atlanta’s Kolbey Watson responded with a trey of her own as the Lady Hornets scored six consecutive points to end the period.
Stoneburner opened the second quarter with a 3 followed by back-to-back baskets by Linberger.
Later, Linberger’s 3-pointer spurred the 9-0 half-ending run. Cook, Ceairra Kirby and Williams each added two-point field goals.