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ECSTATIC ESCAPE: Novi pulls away from Mustangs late, 47-36

 ECSTATIC ESCAPE: Novi pulls away from Mustangs late, 47-36

A trio of Novi defenders (Meagan Lowes, Jordan Popyk and Anna Lindsey) converge on Northville’s Carly Pelon Friday night.

Following nearly two months of close calls, heart-breaking endings and zero victories to show for their hard work, members of the Novi girls basketball team finally broke the goose egg in the KLAA West standings that’s been shadowing them since division play tipped off just before Christmas.

Owners of a precarious 32-30 lead entering the fourth quarter of Friday’s border battle against host Northville, the Wildcats earned their first division win of the season (they’re 5-12 overall), 47-36, the old-fashioned way: with locked-down defense and timely shooting.

“I’m extremely happy for the girls,” said third-year Novi Head Coach Kelsey Partyka. “They’ve been working really, really hard and we’ve lost some close games lately.

“To get over the hill was amazing. It felt good to finish a full game.”

To check out highlights from Friday’s game, click here.

Lindsey leads the way

The Wildcats were led at both ends of the court by Anna Lindsey, who scored a game-high 17 points while serving as the winners’ defensive catalyst.

Novi senior Anna Lindsey plays tight defense against Northville forward Magnan Simran.
Novi senior Anna Lindsey plays tight defense against Northville forward Magnan Simran

Jordan Popyk added 11 points and eight rebounds. Meagan Lowes contributed seven points and Emma Prahin added six.

“Our overall team defense was much improved since our last game (a 59-43 loss to first-place Canton),” Partyka noted. “It’s always great to beat a rival like Northville.”

The final result was in doubt with just over four minutes left when the Wildcats started making winning plays.

Northville senior Miranda Link drives the baseline against Novi
Northville senior Miranda Link drives the baseline against Novi

With the game knotted at 32-32, Lindsey netted back-to-back buckets before Northville’s Peyton Sivier knocked down a long three-point shot to bring the Mustangs to within 36-35 with 4:10 left

Late-game run

Novi clung to a 39-36 advantage with 1:37 remaining before scoring the game’s final eight points: a fastbreak layup from Prahin; and two free throws each from Lowes, Popyk and Lindsey.

“We stayed discipline on defense,  getting every defensive rebound and taking care of the ball,” said Partyka, describing her team’s game-closing run.

Nikki Grech led Northville with 13 points, nine coming in the first quarter when the Mustangs built a 13-9 lead.

Northville sophomore point guard Carly Pelon delivered the most-eye-popping highlight-reel play of the game when she dished a no-look pass to Nikki Grech, who finished the play with an uncontested layup. Seconds earlier, Grech knocked down a long two-point jumper.

Novi led 22-20 at the half.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

Northville guard Carly Pelon led the Mustangs in assists
Northville guard Carly Pelon led the Mustangs in assists

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Ed Wright

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