Davenport North's Paige Bradford is enough of a challenge for teams to try and stop when facing the Wildcats.
So when her teammates step up like they did Friday night against Davenport Assumption, it can make North a downright scary team to face.
Bradford put up 27 points, but the Wildcats got 19 points from Camry Dillie and big contributions from everyone else who played to knock off Assumption, 72-57, in Mississippi Athletic Conference action. The road victory for North (7-5 overall, 6-5 MAC) also broke Assumption's seven-game winning streak.
Dillie scored 16 of her 19 points in the second half to help the Wildcats overcome a 37-33 halftime deficit. Dillie was on fire in the third quarter, nailing three of her game-high four 3-pointers as North put up 24 points in the third to take control of the contest and lead 57-45 going into the final eight minutes.
Bradford put up four of her game-high six assists in the third quarter as North seemed to turn up the offensive aggressiveness in the final two quarters with drives to the basket.
Although no player from Assumption fouled out, North forced the Knights to commit 15 fouls in the second half, which turned into 24 free-throw attempts. North made 15 of those. For the game, the Wildcats shot 33 free throws, making 22, while Assumption went 7-for-12 from the line for the game. Reese Ranum led North's effort at the foul line, making seven of her eight attempts.
"We wanted to attack the whole game, and we came out on fire, especially in the third quarter," Dillie said. "We wanted to win so bad, and this was a big game. All of us were getting into the lane (with drives) and kicking it out for open shots. Paige was great at finding open people. Everyone played well."
The confidence the Wildcats showed on offense showed in some of the 3-point attempts. Sometimes one or two feet behind the line, Dillie and her teammates did not hesitate to fire away. Bailey Ortega also made a big 3 as the visitors blitzed the hosts with an 18-8 run to snag a 51-45 edge with three minutes left in the third.
Dillie said the team has no fear when shooting the ball, especially from long range.
"We shoot (3-pointers) a lot in practice so we are used to people coming at us. We have confidence," Dillie added.
Dillie and Bradford were not the only heroes however. Coral Dillie snagged a game-high 13 rebounds for the Wildcats, many coming on hustling after loose balls. Off the bench, Lindsey Broders scored four points in the third quarter, and Me'Kiyah Harris chipped in five points. Tayja Clayton and Ivy Wilmington played key roles for the Cats in helping spell the starters.
"You could go all the way around," North coach Matt Hoeppner said of the credit the whole team deserved. "Those are the types of efforts we need going forward. We saw sparks of this in some games, where we would have a great middle of the game or a great first quarter but could never put the whole thing together. Tonight, we put everything together against a great team."
The Knights (9-5, 8-3) did not play that bad but only shot 40 percent from the field, including several misses in the lane. Assumption also hurt itself with 16 turnovers during the contest. Carlye Brown led the hosts with 18 points. Caroline Crosby contributed nine points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench for Assumption.
Knights coach Katelyn McNamara thought her team's defensive effort was not consistent with where it has been during the winning streak.
"First half, our defensive was pretty good and I thought we contained things although Bradford was still taking control in first half," she said. "Second half, we came out and, defensively, we didn't get it done and offensively we struggled. When the shots are not falling, you have to pick up your defensive effort and that was just not there. Mentally, I don't think we were as focused as we should have been."