Playing a local rival twice in the regular season — let alone just 11 days apart — gives each team an opportunity to tweak its approach based on what worked well the first time they played.
After falling to Clarksburg (10-2) 64-44 on Jan. 11, Northwest (4-8) sought revenge in the teams’ rematch at home Tuesday evening.
Despite holding a 14-12 lead after the first quarter, the Jags dropped their fourth straight and second of the season to the Coyotes 55-35 at home Tuesday evening.
“The girls played their hardest, [and] we’re going to continue to push through,” Northwest head coach Kevin Smithson said. “I know we’re on this losing streak, but we’re going to turn it around.”
Juniors Alexia Sloan and Jordyn Herwood and senior Ashley Williams helped Northwest grab the early lead through one quarter, with Sloan putting up six points and Herwood and Williams each contributing three-point field goals.
Costly fouls early in the first half hurt the Jags in the second quarter. With their defense trying to avoid further penalties, the Lady Coyotes’ offense started to come into its own and took a 27-17 lead into halftime.
“Once that happened, we had to go to a smaller lineup so they got to us on the rebound side,” Smithson said.
Clarksburg’s offensive production continued to ramp up in the third quarter, scoring 17 points to Northwest’s three. Despite attempting a team total of 12 free throws that quarter, they only converted one.
“We’re really just trying to come together as one and figure out this team chemistry thing, [and] get it together so we can win some games. It’s really hard out there when you’ve got girls not trying to play together, but at the same time trying to work together.”
Even though the Jags put up 13 points in the fourth quarter, including seven courtesy of junior Precious Battle on a field goal and five free throws on six attempts, they couldn’t catch up to the Coyotes.
Only 11 days removed from their first 20-point defeat to their UpCounty rivals, Northwest again fell to Clarksburg by the same point differential.
Sloan and Battle led the Jags with eight points on the night. Freshman Mia Smith and sophomore Sadejah Smith were the Coyotes’ top scorers, totaling eight points apiece.
“The first time we played Clarksburg we were short-handed,” Smithson said. “In this situation, we’re just trying to build on the team chemistry of the people that are here now.”
Northwest will try and snap its four-game skid when it travels to B-CC (6-5) later this week. The Barons are also in the midst of a losing streak, having dropped their last three contests. Tip-off in Bethesda is scheduled for 7:15 pm on Friday.
The Lady Coyotes, winners of four-straight, will take that streak to Gaithersburg to face the 7-6 Lady Trojans, for the Battle of the ‘Burgs on Friday. The last time the teams met, back on January 2, Clarksburg won 63-59. Friday’s game is set for 7:15 pm in Gaithersburg.
Top: Clarksburg’s freshman point guard Mia Smith (14) shoots for one of her eight points in Tuesday's victory over Northwest.
Next: Northwest junior Jordyn Herwood (1) with the shot from long range.
Next: Lady Coyotes’ junior point guard Dominique Woods (1) looks over the offense as she brings the ball up court during Tuesday’s game at Northwest.
Photos by Billy Owens for Germantown Pulse