FARMERSBURG — Short-handed North Knox put forth a strong showing against North Central for a half, but the Thunderbirds came out firing on all cylinders to start the third period and grabbed a 74-49 girls basketball win over the Warriors on Monday.

Emma Saucerman led North Knox (4-4) with 13 points, Hannah Saucerman 10, and Abigail McKinley seven. North Central (4-2), which was ranked in the preseason Class A poll, was led by its highly-regarded junior trio. Jocelyn Cox had 29 points, Courtney Williams 18, and Averi Davidson 16. Williams and Davidson each netted four 3-pointers.

North Knox was without leading scorer Graycie Poe (18.0 points per game), gone on a family trip, but the Warriors still managed to hold a seven-point lead in the second quarter before settling for a two-point margin at half.

“We have a team that's going to grow up, and we're going to play this team again. I want our girls to remember this. When you get beat this bad, especially in one half, it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, there's something wrong,” North Knox coach Steve Meurer said. “We were ahead at the half, and it was probably the best half we've played offensively in a few years. We moved the ball, attacked their press and had 11 assists (on 15 field goals). To do absolutely nothing in the second half was disappointing. We made a few turnovers, and we fell apart.

“I definitely saw some positive things, but we still have a lot of things we can improve on.”

North Central tallied the first seven points of the third quarter to pull ahead, 39-34. Hannah Saucerman stopped the run momentarily, but the onslaught continued as the T-Birds outscored North Knox, 22-7, in the quarter to take a commanding 54-41 lead. Davidson started the final period with a 3-pointer, and the margin never got any tighter.

A quick start by the T-Birds put North Knox in a 10-3 hole. The Warriors never led in the first quarter but got back within 18-15 by the end of the period. Emma Saucerman scored the first four points of the second stanza to give North Knox the lead, and Hannah Saucerman scored six straight Warriors points in a 10-2 run that gave them their biggest lead, 32-25. North Central rallied to tie it at 32, but an Emma Saucerman score with five seconds left gave her team a 34-32 halftime edge. Cox had 11 of her team's 14 second-quarter points.

All nine scored for North Knox's junior varsity (7-1) in a 53-10 rout. Keanna Thomas led the way with 10 points, and Ava Williams and Briley Yochum scored eight.

The Warriors visit county rival Class 2A No. 10 South Knox at 6 p.m. Saturday.

NORTH CENTRAL 74, NORTH KNOX 49

GIRLS-MONDAY

NORTH KNOX

H. Saucerman (f) 5 0-0 10, Yochum (c) 2 2-3 6, McKinley (g) 2 2-4 7, E. Saucerman (g) 6 1-2 13, Hammelman (g) 2 1-2 5, Thomas 1 1-2 3, Miller 1 0-0 2, Wolfe 1 0-0 2, Cardinal 0 1-2 1, Davis 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 8-15 49.

NORTH CENTRAL

Davidson 4 4-4 16, Cox 13 2-4 29, Williams 7 0-0 18, Jones 0 0-0 0, Haviland 0 2-2 2, Stone 3 3-4 9, Crouch 0 0-0 0, Hutchison 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 11-14 74.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

North Knox |15-19-7-8 — 49

North Central |18-14-22-20 — 74

3-pointers: North Knox 1 (McKinley), North Central 9 (Davidson 4, Williams 4, Cox). Fouls: North Knox 9, North Central 15. JV: North Knox 53-10.

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