2016-12-01 / Sports

Wildcats open season with OT thriller

The second installment of the Casey Wilcox era got off to an exciting start this week.

Wilcox and the Lady Wildcats of Northport found themselves in a season opening overtime situation at Wolverine on Monday after the girls erased a 10-point deficit at halftime.

The Wildcats didn’t come away with a win, falling 39-33, but they did come away with a learning experience.

“We had a few mental breakdowns,” Wilcox said. “I think that’s probably the first overtime game for a handful of the girls. It was the first game of the season and they were a little fatigued. We were only running with seven girls. Mentally, we couldn’t finish the game. But we saw some good growth and came back from 10 down, and at least we have that capability. We came out of it saying this is a good learning experience for districts, for conference.”

Wilcox, who doubles as a soccer coach in Northport, inherits a program that went 2-18 in the 2014-15 season and 6-13 a year ago. The team finished 1-3 in Cherryland Conference play.

The Wildcats bring back three starters, all juniors: Jasmin Denny, Joan Ogemaw and Sarah Reynolds.

Denny did not play on Monday, but Ogemaw and Reynolds teamed up for 23 of the team’s 33 points. Reynolds led the way with 14.

“She did a good job getting up and down the floor,” Wilcox said. “Because she’s fit and can run, she got a lot of layups. That’s what we want, we want points in transition.”

Shot selection is the biggest emphasis for Wilcox this season, and that all starts with a patient offense.

She’s been harping on ball security and offensive execution in practice.

“Our focus is finishing,” she said.

Wilcox said she’ll look to Manmeet Dhami, the team’s only senior, for leadership this season.

NORTHPORT

Coach: Casey Wilcox
Last year: 6-13 (1-3)
Returning starters: 3
Returning Dream Teamers: 0
Strength: Patient offense

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