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FORT SMITH -- Little Rock Catholic junior Sam Hannah got the offense going early behind the arc, and the Rockets were able to hold on late Friday night at Kaundart-Grizzly Fieldhouse.

Hannah scored a team-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, for Catholic to help lead the way in a 55-50 victory against Fort Smith Northside in a 6A-Central Conference matchup.

"Winning on the road in the 6A-Central is hard to do against anybody," Catholic coach Todd Ezzi said. "It is really hard here at Northside. They are a really good team. But luckily our guys overcame and hit some shots."

Behind hot shooting to start the game, Catholic (11-6, 1-2) made six of nine shots and held an 18-10 lead after the initial quarter of the game. The Rockets then took a 32-24 lead heading into the break.

"We didn't come in expecting to shoot that well," Ezzi said. "But I know the guys can do it. When they started to feel it, you could tell it was getting contagious. We had some big shots early to get us going."

Catholic took a 44-37 advantage heading into the final quarter, but Northside (11-6, 2-1) was able to get its offense going with some defensive stops after that.

After being down the entire game, Northside's Semonte Henderson scored a basket to take a 45-44 lead with 3:27 left. The Grizzlies opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run, pushing their lead to 46-44.

Catholic was able to outscore Northside 11-5 down the stretch after that to take back the lead and preserve the victory on the road.

Junior guard Charles Daniel, who finished with 13 points, had a big final quarter for Catholic, as he hit key free throws in the final minute of the game. He scored five of the team's final six points.

A three-point basket from Josh Dawson gave the Rockets the lead back at 49-48 with 1:25 left in the game. Daniel later extended the edge out to 53-50 with 34 seconds left.

Northside had late turnovers when it was trying to cut into the Catholic lead. The Grizzlies turned the ball over when it was down 53-50 and then again down 54-50 with seconds left in the game.

The Grizzlies shot four of nine from the field in the final quarter, while Catholic made just two of seven shots but made six of nine free-throw attempts.

"I was really proud of the guys," Ezzi said. "It would've probably been easy for the guys after losing the first two conference games to step back. But our guys are tough. This is a display of that toughness and getting better. We are excited to continue conference play."

Northside was led by junior Jaylin Williams, who had a game-high 19 points for the Grizzlies.

Catholic 55, Fort Smith Northside 50

Catholic^18^14^12^11^--^55

Northside^10^14^13^13^--^50

Catholic (11-6, 1-2): Hannah 17, Daniel 13, Porter 8, Dawson 8, Flanagan 6, Loyd 3.

Northside (11-6, 2-1): Williams 19, Travis 8, Henderson 6, Gordon 6, McKinley 3, Releford 3, Thorne 3, Joe 2.

Girls

Fort Smith Northside 63, Mount St. Mary 27

Fort Smith Northside hit its initial five shots from the field to open the game, and the Lady Bears didn't look back Friday night at Kaundart-Grizzly Fieldhouse.

Mount St. Mary was able to get a basket from Catherine Althoff to cut Northside's lead to 5-2 early. Northside then used a 16-2 run after that to hold a 21-4 lead after the first quarter.

The Lady Bears scored the first 18 points of the second quarter before the Belles were able to get a basket in the second quarter. That allowed Northside to push its lead to 39-6 heading into halftime.

"We played well," Northside coach Rickey Smith said. "We've had two really good practices. Our kids really came out and shot the ball well. When you do that, a lot of things fall into place. Our starters played well, but our bench did as well."

Northside took advantage of the three-point basket to pull ahead early, making five in the first quarter of the game. Jersey Wolfenbarger had three 3-pointers, while Tracey Bershers and Sara Bershers each hit an outside show as well.

The bench was a big part of the second quarter for Northside, as it got 12 of its 18 points in the quarter from reserves. Eriel West and Avery Shelly each had four points, while Jazzlyn Coleman and Quinishia Tillery had two each.

Northside didn't let up in the second half on offense, as the Lady Bears were able to make their first six shots after the break to push the lead out to 52-11.

The Lady Bears had 12 different players score points in the victory.

"We looked really well because we were able to share the ball," Smith said. "It was a very balanced night. From a coaching standpoint, it was what we wanted. It was a great effort and attitude."

Fort Smith Northside 63, Mount St. Mary 27

Mt. St. Mary^4^2^8^13^--^27

Northside^21^18^17^7^--^63

Mt. St. Mary (3-9, 0-3): Wilcox 6, Tarini 4, Meadors 4, Cassie 3, Holloway 3, Norris 3. Althoff 2, Obert 2.

Northside (15-0, 3-0): Wolfenbarger 12, T. Bershers 11, Stewart 6, S. Bershers 5, Mays 4, Douglas 4, Shelly 4, Coleman 4, Tillery 4, West 4, Knauls 3, Reese 2.

Sports on 01/12/2019

Print Headline: PREP BASKETBALL Catholic stuns FS Northside

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