CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Northwest High boys’ basketball hosted Northeast High for a showdown downtown on Tuesday.
It was a close contest for most of the game, but the Eagles showed no mercy in the second half. After outscoring Northwest 35-20 in the second half, Northeast won 61-39.
The Eagles’ defensive presence was felt early in the matchup. It was a trend that played out throughout the game.
In particular, Northeast showed its ability to protect the paint. They made Northwest work for every offensive opportunity and limited their production.
The Eagles’ offensive production in the fourth quarter was critical. The team scored 19 in the fourth quarter, compared to Northwest’s 9 points.
Nazier Leonard led Northeast in scoring after the guard finished with 22 points.
“Defense is what has cost us the most this year,” Northeast head coach Sam Young said. “Up until this point I haven’t been able to get them to block and play defense, but as a coach you can never give up. You can’t put it aside, you have to keep polishing it in practice and hopefully it will eventually fit.
“I hope tonight is the turning point. We really chased it down and there were multiple plays where we went in court for fumbles, gained additional possessions and also crashed the boards. That’s the kind of teams I want to coach and what I expect from them,” Young said.
“I have no complaints tonight; everyone played their part, and the energy level was through the roof. We’ve been on a losing streak for a couple of games now, but this win was important for us to build our confidence and regain our swagger. We’re a good basketball team, and the guys felt it tonight.”
Northwest Women’s Basketball Wins Big
Northwest High girls basketball defended the home court with authority Tuesday against Northeast High. From start to finish, the Vikings dominated the contest against the Eagles, finishing with a 70-16 victory.
Northwest’s defensive pressure wreaked havoc on Northeast’s offensive production all night. The Vikings constantly forced turnovers and made the most of their opponents’ mistakes.
Plus, Northwest got away with it on the offensive end. They had no trouble establishing their offense and getting open shots for quality shots.
They took advantage of their shots from the field and showed how deadly they can be from the three-point line. When the game concluded, the Vikings had made 9 trifectas, accounting for 27 of their 70 points.
“I like to think our defense sets the tone for us,” Northwest head coach Ben Wallace said. “But we’ve been inconsistent all year on that, so it was a focus for us on how to play defense. We’re coming off a game where we forced 31 turnovers, or should I say Dixon had 31 turnovers, but we’ve gotten teams to turn the ball over.
“It was good that we were able to take advantage of the other team’s mistakes tonight. Against Dixon we didn’t take those opportunities and ended up losing the game. Tonight, we had additional chances and certainly the defense sets the tone, it makes you feel good and anything you do that disrupts the rest is positive,” Wallace said.
“After the game I told them what a great job the girls are, I’m happy about this but we have Henry County on Friday. It’s time for us to go home, watch the movie and start thinking about our next opponent and start preparing. Ultimately, this win will make us feel good and allow us to get some energy flowing.”