Even though it had been a week since they competed on the floor, the North Pike girls got big games from junior Amari Davis and senior Jamey McDaniel Tuesday night opening District 6-4A play positively with a 48-43 road win over Lanier.
McDaniel led the Jaguars (7-4, 1-0) with 24 points and eight rebounds while Davis poured in 22 points and six rebounds.
North Pike head coach Laura Holman said that she was looking for someone to step up and compliment the team's leading scorer in Davis and she was pleased to see McDaniel rise to the occasion.
"She did a great job and kind of scored a little everywhere," Holman said of McDaniel. "She really played at a high level and of course as a coach your are really hoping and praying that there is a light switch (that goes off) and you hope that she finishes the year out with that potential. She played extremely well."
It didn't take long for McDaniel to make her mark for North Pike. She scored six of her team's 10 first-quarter points. Meanwhile, the Jaguars’ defense also got off to a strong start in the game, receiving praise from Holman afterward.
The Jaguars limited the Bulldogs to just seven points in the first quarter and five in the second.
Aggressiveness in the paint really helped the Jaguars throughout the contest and while the visitors dominated the post, Davis provided the lone 3-pointer on the evening for North Pike in the third, part of a seven-point quarter for the junior.
In the fourth, free throw shooting was key, helping North Pike maintain its lead. Both Davis and McDaniel combined to go 7-of-8 from the charity stripe helping to contribute to the win.
North Pike boys fall short
Mental mistakes and miscues proved to be a big Tuesday night for North Pike as the Jaguars could not complete a comeback, falling short at Lanier by a score of 71-45.
Despite the 26-point loss, North Pike coach Terrell Anderson said that his team narrowed the gap on two different occasions before the Bulldogs pulled away.
“They (Lanier) brought back pretty much everyone from last year's team and they were already a pretty scrappy team (then),” Anderson said. “It was a good all-around game and we actually played them good. The game was closer than what the score said. We were only down by seven heading into the fourth and we let it slip away. I made a couple of subs and when I made them we had a couple of turnovers and the avalanche started there.”
A balanced attack paced the Jaguars (4-5, 0-1) early on as they trailed by only two at the end of the first eight minutes of play. And even though the Jaguars put up a 16-point effort, led by 11 points from Jaylon Bonds, the Bulldogs showed more consistency from more players taking a 35-24 lead at the half.
North Pike found more of that consistency in the third quarter, out-scoring Lanier 10-6 to pull within striking distance. However they could not find the right formula in the final period, as the Bulldogs rode off with the win.
Bonds led the Jaguars with 13 points, while Zack Boyd chipped in 11.