Grosse Pointe North has dominated against its rival Grosse Pointe South on the court.
In the first half Thursday, it was much of the same story. But the second half had some excitement to it as North (7-1, 3-0 MAC Red) defeated South, 49-37.
Senior Julia Ayrault (Michigan State commit) carried North in the first half. North jumped out to an 18-0 lead after the first. Ayrault and fellow senior Maddie Mills each had seven points.
Ayrault would finish the game with 13 points.
North’s head coach Gary Bennett loves having Ayrault on his team.
“Julia is a great player and her confidence on the court rubs off on her teammates,” Bennett said.
Soon as the game started, Ayrault made her presence known. South did not have an answer against Ayrault on offense as she was a force in the paint. Her team quickly followed suit, not letting up on the pedal against South.
The second quarter was much of the same story as the first. Only difference was that South scored its first basket on a jump shot by senior Jetwyn Wilson.
South would only score one more time in the second on a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Alexa Downey.
Meanwhile, North continued to dominate both on offense and defense. A 20-point second quarter brought North’s lead to 38-5 at the half.
South started to come to life in the second half, despite its deficit. South used the three ball to help cut into North’s lead.
Senior guard Savannah Srebernak caught fire draining four straight 3s to finish the quarter with 12 points. That brought South to life after a slow first half.
North looked like a different team in the third quarter, with careless turnovers and not defending against South’s 3-point attempts.
Ayrault did not play much of the third quarter and with her out,, North did not have an offensive presence.
Though North did not play the second half the way it wanted, coach Bennett was still pleased with his team’s performance.
“I wanted to give everyone a chance to play tonight and I wanted our girls who aren’t starters to see what it’s like to play a game with full effort and intensity and I believe they did that tonight,” Bennett said.
North was held to nine points in the third leading 47-23 over South (4-3 0-3 MAC Red).
When the fourth quarter came around, Ayrault was still on the bench and South used that to its advantage. With three minutes left to play, South trimmed the deficit to 13 trailing 48-35.
Still no sign of Ayrault on the court, but North was able to hold off South’s impressive comeback to defeat South.
Bennett knew how good South could shoot 3s and he wanted his team to do its best to limit the number of shots South took from beyond the arc.
“We knew South was good from long distance and we wanted to keep them from beyond the arc to start the game, and we did,” Bennett said.
Srebernak finished with 12 points and sophomore guard Alexa Downey had 11 points for South.
Kevin Moore is a freelance writer.
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