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FORT SMITH -- In its first game as the sole leader of the 7A-Central Conference, Fort Smith Northside put its three-point shooting skills on display in a 61-43 victory over Little Rock Catholic.

The Grizzlies (18-6, 9-1), the defending Class 7A state champion, hit 10 three-pointers and built a 33-9 lead 12 minutes into the game.

"I told the team before the game to focus because we cannot overlook anyone," Grizzlies Coach Eric Burnett said. "To come out like we did at the start of the game and get control early means we were ready to play."

Northside emptied its bench for much of the second half, with the biggest lead being 51-26 with 3:50 left in the third quarter. Eleven different players scored for Northside, led by Kentrell Jacobs with 17, including four three-pointers. Isaiah Joe added 10.

"It's always good to see those [reserves] come into the game," Burnett said. "Our student section gets excited to see those guys come into the game, and in turn our guys get hyped up."

Jacobs scored nine points in the first quarter to lead the Grizzlies to a 23-4 advantage. Northside made five three-pointers in the first quarter, and its zone pressure also forced eight turnovers by the Rockets, including two 10-second violations.

"We shot the basketball well and played good defense," Burnett said. "I thought our zone pressure hurt them. We got a lot of turnovers in the first half (10)."

Noah Slater scored five points in the first four minutes of the second quarter, fueling a 10-5 spurt as the Grizzlies built their biggest lead of the first half at 33-9.

Phillips Allison scored nine points to lead Catholic, which used a 10-4 spurt in the final 2:38 of the second quarter to climb to within 37-19 at halftime.

Northside can take control of the 7A-Central race next week with games at Conway on Tuesday and a showdown at home Friday against North Little Rock.

"We have a big week, but we have to concentrate on Conway," Burnett said. "Going to Conway is going to be tough. They got a lot of dunks on us the first time."


Allison 4 1-1 9, Daniel 2 3-5 7, Edington 3 0-0 7, Pruss 3 0-0 6, Porter 1 2-3 5, Flanagan 2 0-0 4, Schildnecht 0 3-4 3, Dawson 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 9-13 43.


Jacobs 6 1-2 17, Joe 2 5-5 10, Releford 3 0-0 9, Slater 2 0-0 5, Travis 2 0-0 4, Thorne 1 1-2 4, Williams 1 2-2 4, Keller 1 0-0 2, Myers 1 0-0 2, McKinley 1 0-0 2, Perkins 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 9-11 61.

LR Catholic (7-15) 4 15 12 12 -- 43

FS Northside (18-6) 23 14 14 10 -- 61

Three-point goals -- LR Catholic 2 (Porter, Edington), Northside 10 (Jacobs 4, Releford 3, Joe, Thorne, Slater). Team fouls -- LR Catholic 10, Northside 18.

Sports on 02/10/2018

Print Headline: Northside remains on top by staying outside

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