North Hopkins breaks first-place tie with five-game thriller over Boles
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Oct. 6, 2004 - BIRTHRIGHT - The North Hopkins Lady Panthers went five games against the Quinlan Boles Lady Hornets and pulled out the win Tuesday night with a 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 19-17 thriller.

Coach Danna Lewis' team (13-8 overall, 4-0 in district) took over sole possession of first place in District 19-A, dropping Boles (3-1) into second. It was the first time this season that the Lady Panthers had been taken to five games.

"I thought this was the best that our girls have played so far this year," Lewis said. "This was our first five-game match of the year."

Lewis hopes that the team will play the second half of the season the same way they ended the first half.

"We need to be able to have more intensity this second half of the season and work on our serving during practices and games this year," she explained. "We had a lot of trouble with it during the first half."

Whatever trouble they had Tuesday night, they were able to work through. Junior Katy Williams, who finished with 12 kills, a block, an assist and 13 points in the match, led the Lady Panthers.

In game two, North Hopkins jumped out to an early 5-0 lead behind Williams' two quick aces and sophomore Ebbonye Johnson with her two aces in the contest.

Boles would not give up in game two as they came from a 21-11 deficit behind strong play from Tamara Noyes, who came up with the kill to bring them to within three at 21-18.

NH senior Sara Weir was able to wrap up game two on an ace past a diving Boles player for a 25-23 win.

Noyes led the Lady Hornets with 23 kills and three blocks in the contest, while her sister Rachelle Noyes had 20 kills and two blocks.

In game three, Boles took a 24-22 lead late on a kill by Tamara Noyes and closed out the game on a missed serve by the Lady Panthers.

In game four, Boles took a 15-13 lead behind the serving of Tamara Noyes as she recorded an ace, but North Hopkins tied it up at 15-15 on a Williams ace.

In game five, North Hopkins took an early 9-2 lead as Williams once again came up with a kill, and then Johnson capitalized on a kill of her own for an 11-4 lead. Maegan Baxter came up with the assist on that play as she had 24 assists on the night.

North Hopkins sealed the match when Noyes went for the kill but hit the ball out for a 17-15 win in game five.

Johnson wrapped up the night with nine kills, while Tashona Berry had six kills, six points and three aces, Weir had two kills and 15 points, and Ashley Wilson had three points and a team-high 13 digs for the Lady Panthers.

For the Lady Hornets, Ashley Wall had one ace and three kills, while teammate Sarah Duran had six kills, one ace, one block and 10 assists.

The Lady Panthers return to district action with a game against the Yantis Lady Owls in Yantis on Friday. Junior varsity action is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

"I went and saw Yantis play Saturday, and they like to return the ball a lot. We need to make sure and work on that," Lewis said.

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