NH boys, girls build momentum toward postseason

From Staff Reports

The North Hopkins boys and girls each set themselves up for the playoffs with victories in their final regular season games on Monday.

Girls

North Hopkins 63, Union Hill 12

Feb. 6, 2007 - BIRTHRIGHT - The North Hopkins girls claimed a share of the District 18-A championship on Monday with a trouncing of Union Hill.

The Lady Panthers won on Parents' Night behind a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Sabra Thomas and 17 points from Jessi Mannis.

Courtney Loper added eight points and four rebounds, Tana Hall and Megan Lehr each contributed seven points and four boards.

North Hopkins (16-13 overall) is tied with Quinlan Boles atop the district standings with 7-1 marks. The two teams will play on Friday at a site to be determined for playoff seeding.

This was the fifth consecutive district championship for the Lady Panthers.

Yantis plays Cumby tonight for third place in the district.

Union Hill 4 2 2 4 -12

North Hopkins 19 14 18 12 -63

Union Hill - Jones 2, Bell 2, Johnson 4, Davis 2, Anderson 2.

North Hopkins - Ebbonye Johnson 2, Tana Hall 7, Jessi Mannis 17, Megan Lehr 7, Cayla Newkirk 4, Sabra Thomas 18, Courtney Loper 8.

Boys

North Hopkins 66, Union Hill 45

BIRTHRIGHT - North Hopkins wrapped up an undefeated district season with a solid second-half effort.

The Panthers led by just one points, 29-28, at halftime, and then outscored Union Hill 23-4 in the third quarter to take a 20-point lead. Coach Matt Rager contributed the third-quarter surge to the Panthers' full court press.

"I challenged them at halftime to work on the press, and it paid off in the second half," Rager said. "We played solid man-to-man and we just really shot well from the outside."

The Panthers (17-11 overall, 8-0 in District 18-A, Div. I) were led in scoring by senior Steven Crocker with 28 points, Blake McClure with 12 and Roger Sancho with 10.

North Hopkins will get a first-round bye in the playoffs due to their district championship. Rager is lining up a warm-up game and may possibly play in the Rivercrest playoff preview.

In the district race, Boles has claimed second place, and the final playoff berth will come down to Cumby and Yantis tonight.

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