NORTHVILLE — When Ciara Thompson connected on back-to-back 3-pointers for Northville to put the Falcons up by nine, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons coach Pat Moran quickly adjusted his defense to a zone.
The adjustment slowed the Northville offense, and the Golden Knights erased the nine-point deficit to earn a hard-fought 48-37 victory in Western Athletic Conference girls’ basketball action Wednesday night at Northville High School.
“We changed our defense up to a 3-2 zone, and that made a difference,” Moran said. “We talked about going possession by possession and not to get down on yourself. Just play hard. That was our mission, to play hard because we knew how good a team they are.”
Mia’rose Wylie connected for all seven of the Golden Knights’ first-quarter points, while Hannah Hoffman had a free throw and a 3-pointer to go with a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Hailey Monroe to account for Northville’s seven first-quarter points.
The teams swapped leads four times in the second quarter before Alanah Kelly hit a lay-up to stake ND-BG to a 17-16 halftime lead.
The Falcons surged ahead with a 12-2 run at the start of the second half, highlighted by Thompson’s 3-pointers, to build a 28-19 advantage.
Moran called for the Golden Knights to switch defenses to a 3-2 zone to slow the Falcons’ offense.
The defensive change sparked a 10-3 run by the Golden Knights to cut Northville’s lead to 31-29 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Northville held onto its lead until 3:47 left in regulation, when Angelina Deitz hit a 3-pointer to give the Golden Knights a 39-37 lead.
Deitz scored the only basket in the final minutes as ND-BG converted on 7 of 12 free throws to lock up the 48-37 league win.
“They made adjustments, and we didn’t make the adjustments on our end,” Northville coach Justin Frederick said. “It is hard to get the lid off the basket sometimes, and Bishop Gibbons found ways that we couldn’t. It was a good battle, but we need to go to the drawing board and figure out ways to improve and find the right adjustments.”
Hoffman led the Northville scorers with 12 points, including three 3-pointers, while Monroe finished with seven points and Thompson chipped in with six points. The Falcons connected for eight 3-pointers.
Wylie led all scorers with 22 points for the Golden Knights, while Dietz hit for 14 points, all coming in the second half.
“I am proud of the girls. This is a huge win for us,” Moran said. “Again, they [Northville] are very good. Girls who don’t normally step up, stepped up for us tonight, played defense and made some big shots. Tonight, it was all about 10 girls playing as one.”
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons will host WAC rival Galway next Wednesday, while Northville (8-4) will host Gloversville in a non-league game Friday night before returning to league play Wednesday at OESJ.
ND-BG 7 10 12 19 — 48
Northville 7 9 15 6 — 37
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons scoring: Dietz 5-2-14, P. Moran 1-0-2, Davis 1-0-2, Wylie 8-6-22, M. Moran 1-2-4, Kelly 1-2-4. Northville scoring: Hoffman 4-1-12, Reidell 2-1-5, Mackey 1-0-3, Thompson 2-0-6, Monroe 2-1-7, Valovic 1-0-2, Peck 1-0-2. Scoring totals: Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 17-12-48. Northville 13-3-37.