BROOKSVILLE — Offense was at a premium during Friday night’s championship game of the Hernando Holiday Classic.
Northeast won the title 39-19 over Central despite shooting eight percent from 3-point range.
“This program doesn’t have a history of a lot of success,” Northeast coach Will White said. “We’ve made progress toward where we want to be.”
The Vikings (12-12) made only one field goal in the first quarter and were tied with the Bears (6-9) after that period 3-3. At halftime, the advantage increased to 16-7 though the undersized Northeast squad continued to fire away from beyond the arc with little success. The team was only 1 for 14 from that distance at halftime.
Central was unable to take advantage in large part because of its inability to convert on easy field goal opportunities. The Bears missed 12 shots in the paint in the first half.
“I thought we came out flat (Thursday night), but we just played bad (Friday),” Central coach Penny Gressick said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the basket, and you can’t win if you can’t score.”
Things changed after the teams returned from the locker room. The lone advantage the Bears seemed to have — size in the post — was negated by Northeast’s tenacity on the boards. Aspen Hedges (12 points, 10 rebounds, five steals) and Laura Fizell (eight points, eight rebounds) stepped up with solid efforts.
Bears standouts struggled with consistency. Evelyn Anderson (nine points, seven rebounds), who accounted for Central’s entire first-half point total, went silent in the second half.
Lauren Grimsland, who had double doubles in each of her first two tournament games, grabbed nine rebounds in the first half. The senior center finished with only five points and 11 boards.
In the third-place game, Fivay defeated Springstead 51-40.
The Falcons (9-7) were led by Alicia Artley, who bounced back from a rough semifinal to account for a season-high 31 points and 16 boards.
The Eagles (7-11) were unable to fend off the torrid effort of Artley, who averaged 19.6 points and 14.3 rebounds in the three-game event.