The Northfield girls basketball team drew 2A, #2 Rochester in the sectional next week, but before the tournament the Lady Norse played host to the Zebras in their final game of the season Thursday, sending Rochester a message that they will not roll over as they trailed Rochester by just 6 points with 2:28 left before free throws gave the Zebras a 64-55 win.
Rochester took a quick 3-0 lead before Kelcie Thomson made it 3-2. Down 6-2 Ariel Dale would hit a free throw, then answer Rochester free throws with a three to make it 8-6. Rochester led 11-6 when Payton Thomson connected with the quarter ending on an Ally Keaffaber three as Rochester led 14-11 after one.
The Zebras would get the first bucket of the second quarter when Payton Thomson drained a three to make it 16-14. The Zebras would flex their muscle a bit at that point, scoring 8 straight to grab a 24-14 lead, but the Norse wouldn’t go away when Indi Shear hit a three to make it 24-17. Rochester was leading 33-22 as time was winding down in the half when Payton Thomson hit a one hand runner for a three at the buzzer to make it 33-25 at the half.
The Norse kept their momentum going to start the third quarter when Kelcie Thomson scored on a free throw and then off a steal to make it 33-28 when the Zebras answered with 7 straight for a 40-28 lead. Rochester built their lead to 47-35 but the Norse wouldn’t go away. Kelcie Thomson hit, followed by two Payton Thomson free throws and a bucket to cut the lead to 47-42 when a made three quarter court shot at the buzzer by Rochester gave the Zebras a 50-42 lead with a quarter to go.
Northfield could have folded in the fourth after the shot at the buzzer and Rochester getting the first bucket of the fourth to build their lead to 52-42, but the resilient Lady Norse would continue to fight back. Abby Keaffaber would hit two free throws with Ariel Dale matching a Zebra free throw to make it 53-45. At 55-45 Dale would hit a three and after a Rochester free throw the Norse got a bucket from Melanie Beery to cut the lead to 56-50 with 2:28 remaining. The Norse were forced to foul as Rochester held the ball and the Norse needed it, with the Zebras hitting 6 straight free throws while Northfield could find the bucket as the Rochester lead grew to 64-50. Ariel Dale would finish the scoring with a deuce and a three for the 64-55 final.
Leading Northfield was Ariel Dale with 17 points. Payton Thomson added 13, Kelcie Thomson 10, Abby Keaffaber 7, Ally Keaffaber 3, Indi Shear 3, Melanie Beery 2.
The Northfield junior varsity defeated Rochester 33-9.
Leading the Norse was Jordan Shafer with 14 points. Abbey Ross added 9, Ellie Schuler 2, Katy Pefley 2, Madison Snyder 2.