NORTHVIEW HIGH SCH
height: 5'4" weight: 125
March 8, 2008
Headline : "NORTHVIEW SWEEPS"
"Girls finally break seven-year streak"
January 12, 2008
The Northview Lady Cougars ended more than seven years of frustration Friday night.
Behind the early hot shooting of Haley Williams, Northview exploded to a quick lead then maintained the advantage the rest of the way to beat city rival Dothan 62-57.
The win was Northview's first over Dothan since Dec. 23, 2000 in the consolution game of the Northview Christmas Tournament, snapping a string of 20 straight losses to the Tigers.
"Even as a little kid, I wanted to beat Dothan and this is big because it is my senior year," Williams said. "It means a lot to finally beat them."
Junior Alannah Vincent added, "It feels great."
Equally important, Northview (15-8) clinched no worse than a tie for first in the Class 6A, Area 7 race. The Cougars (4-1 in area) can clinch first place with an Enterprise (2-2 in area) loss to Russell County (1-2) or by beating Dothan (1-3) again next Friday.
"It is big for our program to win this one because it is our rival and it was an area game, which puts us a step closer in trying to host (the area tournament)," Northview head coach Janasky Fleming said.
The win was also the first for Fleming over his uncle, Ed Fleming, Dothan's head coach. However, the younger Fleming downplayed any feelings of finally beating his relative.
"It says a lot to beat a program like Dothan because Uncle Edward works his girls tremendously and runs a class program," Fleming said. "I am happy that we won, but not so much because he is my uncle. I tell people that he and I don't play. It is about the girls."
A fast start propelled Northview, which led from the start to finish. Williams opened with three 3-pointers in the first four minutes, helping the Cougars to a 13-3 advantage.
"When the game started, my adrenaline was going," Williams said. "I found myself open and felt I hd the shot."
Fleming also stated Gabby Williams, Northview's other senior besides Haley Williams, also played a key role in the early spurt.
"Our seniors, Gabby and Haley, showed some tremendous leadership. Gabby dd it through defense and getting rebounds."
Quickness and offensive rebounding kept Dothan (7-6) in it as the Tigers scored seven straight to close the gap to 13-10. Jerrica McGriff and Lawanar Talley led the charge, combining for all the points.
Northview's Haley Williams bombed another 3-pointer to put the Cougars up by six, but a jumper by Dothan's Charmaine Ward closed the gap to 16-12 as the quarter ended.
Dothan pulled to within one early in the second quarter on two free throws by Jessica Williams, but two baskets by Vincent and one by Kasey Frazier built the margin back to seven.
The Cougars eventually took a 33-27 lead into the half-time break.
Throughout the second half, Northview would ease out a ways, but Dothan kept clawing back.
The Cougars led by five (59-54) with 28.9 seconds left following two Vincent free throws, but McGriff drilled a 3-pointer with 7.7 seconds left, giving Dothan hope.
A second later, Haley Williams was fouled. She made the first try, but missed the second.
However, the rebound ended in a jump ball situation and the arrow was Northview's way.
After the ensuing inbounds pass, Haley Williams was fouled again with 2.9 seconds left. She then sealed the outcome, hitting two free throws.
Haley Williams and Vincent both had 20 points to lead Northview. Vincent added five rebounds and five assists. Kacey Frazier earned 11 points and nine rebounds. Gabby Williams had six points, six rebounds and four blocks for the Cougars.
Ward led Dothan with 15 points. McGriff followed with 12 and Talley had 10,