North Pike got a big contribution from the team’s lone senior in Jamey McDaniel in a 44-28 win Monday night at Florence.

“Offensively, McDaniel is doing a good job of getting open and doing a better job at shot selection,” North Pike head coach Laura Holman said. “She had some really good post moves and she only played in three quarters. She was in foul trouble and she sat most of the second quarter and the end of the fourth quarter.”

In addition to the stellar play from McDaniel — who finished with a game-high 18 points — North Pike (4-3) also got 15 points from junior Amari Davis.

Overall as a team, the Jaguars’ defense made the difference as the Eagles were limited to just one double-digit scoring quarter with 10 points in the second.

However, it also came at a time when the North Pike offense struggled to find a consistent rhythm.

The Jaguars trailed 20-19 at the half.

In the third quarter, things began to turn around for the visitors. Davis and McDaniel combined for 15 of their team’s 17 points.

On defense, Holman changed up her scheme and it paid dividends.

“Our defense kind of made them take bad shots and we were rebounding it,” Holman said. “In the first half, it kind of felt like our intensity on defense allowed them to run their offense and in the second half our intensity made it harder for them to score.”

The change in defensive philosophy helped North Pike, which held Florence to just five points in the quarter as the Jaguars began to pull away.

Jaguars lose to Eagles

North Pike coach Terrell Anderson wanted his team to face stiff non-district competition in preparation for when 6-4A play rolls around in January.

And Monday night against a very-tough Florence team, his guys put up an effort, but could not keep up with the high-powered Eagles, falling 67-42.

“I set that game up because I wanted to give us a challenge,” North Pike head coach Terrell Anderson said. “I knew that Florence was an undefeated team and competed for the state championship two years ago against Raymond.”

The Jaguars (4-4) got off to a positive start hanging with the Eagles, trailing 10-8 at the end of the first quarter. However in the second, Florence got huge contributions from senior captain Devin Carter and Jay’lan McNair.

The duo combined for 23 of the Eagles’ 27 second quarter points.

The Jaguars could not respond offensively only getting eight points, all of which came from free throws.

North Pike continued to fight, getting solid play from Kentrail Smith, who led the team with 13 points, but it was not enough as the Eagles sealed the win.

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