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February 6, 2013

South, North advance in openers

(Continued)

TERRE HAUTE —

TH North 40, Martinsville 34 – Unlike the South-Northview game, North-Martinsville was close the whole way.

The difference? The Artesians – 3 of 22 from 3-point range – couldn’t make enough outside shots to defeat North’s 2-3 zone.

That … and Anderson made 8 of 11 from the field and scored 26 points.

“Nicole comes to play every day. She never takes a drill off, she never takes a play off. That’s who she is. She’s the center of our offense, she’s the center of our defense. She’s helping me coach. She tells me went to switch from zone to man,” North coach Mike Allen said.

North staked itself to a 9-3 lead, but once Martinsville cut its deficit to three by the 2:41 mark of the first period, neither team could separate themselves from the other.

Neither team’s advantage would be greater than three points until late in the third quarter. Despite Anderson’s control of the paint, Martinsville’s trapping and three-quarter court press gave the Patriots problems. North’s halftime lead was 20-19.

The Artesians (11-11) seemed poised for a breakthrough when they used a 6-0 run to take a 29-26 lead with 2:40 to go in the third quarter. But the Patriots responded. A 7-0 run – with two Anderson buckets preceding a Lindsay Clark 3-pointer – helped the Patriots re-assume the advantage at 33-29 entering the final period.

“We had to settle down a little bit. They put pressure on the ball. When we start playing helter skelter that’s when things go poorly for us. We ran a play and got things settled down,” Allen said.

The last quarter was a tense defensive stand-off. Martinsville’s press and North’s 2-3 zone couldn’t be solved and just four points were scored in the first six minutes of the quarter.

With the lead, the stalemate favored North, and though the Patriots struggled at the line down the stretch, their defense never gave the Artesians – who were 2 of 10 in the final period from the field  – any hope of a comeback.

North faces a stiff challenge against Mooresville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Pioneers (16-4) beat the Patriots 46-37 on Nov. 27, 2012 and they have knocked North out of the last two sectionals.

“They’re a very good shooting team. They execute their offense. For us to be successful, we have to do the same thing. The team that shoots better probably wins that game,” Allen said.

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