In a battle of Eagles for the top roost, North Central dropped the eggs in the nest at the foul line in the fourth quarter to hold off Fayette, 40-34, in a contest between two teams looking for their first win of the season Friday in girls basketball.
Fayette took a late first quarter lead on a Neveah Powers steal-and-score and three-ball that rang off the glass to go up 7-5 with 1:41 to go.
North Central’s 6’0” tower, Makinzy King, tied it before the end of the period, then Madeline Zimmerman’s foul line banker 30 seconds into the second gave North Central the lead for good.
North Central never really shook Fayette.
Hannah Kovar’s 3-pointer kept Fayette in striking distance at 11-10 with 4:31 left in the half.
Mireya Cruz scored on a jumper and a putback, then King also scored off the offensive glass as North Central took a 17-13 halftime lead.
Addison Schang’s long distance triple halfway through the third kept Fayette within a possession at 21-18 but North Central went ahead 27-20 heading into the fourth on Amara Wright’s three-ball with 18 seconds to go in the third.
In the last period, Isabelle Burnett was the big key as she went 7-8 from the foul line, and scored nine points to keep Fayette at bay.
Powers’ triple and Kelsie Storrs three-point play kept Fayette close, but they couldn’t get over the top as 9-16 free throw shooting hampered their comeback.
Burnett had 13 points to lead North Central. Powers had 16 to pace all scorers.
North Central was 12-35 from the floor while Fayette was 10-42.
Fayette had 17 turnovers compared to 21 for North Central.