WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Sometimes it just takes a little while to get the engine running.
After a slow first quarter for Westerville North where Worthington Kilbourne's Lauren Scott outscored them single handedly, the Warriors turned it on for the following 24 minutes of play, outscoring the Lady Wolves in each of the following three quarters to pick up a big 51-45 league win.
Scott opened the game up on fire for Worthington Kilbourne, torching the Lady Warriors defense early on to the tune of a 12 point first quarter that found her team ahead 16-9 after one.
After the Lady Wolves then scored the first four points of the second quarter as well to increase their lead to 20-9, Westerville North kicked things into gear, ending the half on an 11-4 run to trim the deficit to 24-20 at the half.
Westerville North finally gained control of the game late in the third when they led 32-29 with 2:49 to go in the frame, however a pair of scores from Worthington Kilbourne helped them regain the lead at 33-32 moments later.
Westerville North senior guard Imari Martin then came up with a couple scores of her own and assisted on one to help the Lady Warriors take the lead back at 38-35 with 1:08 left in the third, a lead they built up to 41-36 by the end of the quarter.
Worthington Kilbourne tied things up after midway through the fourth after a score from Scott and a free throw from Amya Harris, however Westerville North junior Charia Smith converted on a couple buckets inside to help them regain control and put them in a situation to ice the game with free throws, which is exactly what they did.
The Lady Warriors were led by Kayla Curry-Brown with 14 points, while Smith added 13 and Martin scored 12.
In the loss for Kilbourne, Scott led all scorers with 23 points while Amya Harris and Camille Shiffer each contributed seven of their own.
Imari Martin (5'4 G / Westerville North / 2021): One of just two seniors on Westerville North's roster, Martin is a key piece to the Lady Warriors three-headed monster in the backcourt including Kayla Curry-Brown and Emoni Finch. Martin has a dynamic handle that she uses to get by defenders, finished off a few tough scores at the rim on Tuesday and set her teammates up for a few solid scores as well. She also made a solid read on the drive on one occasion where she settled for a pull-up from the mid-range and buried it with ease. Martin is experienced, plays with a solid IQ and also can cause problems on the defensive perimeter with her active hands and quick feet. Martin is comfortable playing either on or off the ball just as the rest of the Warriors backcourt is and showed off her impressive offensive arsenal on Friday night.
Kayla Curry-Brown (5'6 G / Westerville North / 2023): Curry-Brown is a player that we have really been in impressed with in two viewings so far this season as she offers a lot of the same tools as Martin, yet is two years younger. Curry-Brown led the Lady Warriors in scoring on Friday night with 14 points and got to that mark in a variety of ways. The sophomore hit a triple in the first quarter, finished off a few tough takes near the rim and got to the free throw line on several occasions where she helped ice the game late. Curry-Brown is a high IQ player who makes an impact on both ends of the floor. She can create offensively and disrupt guards on the perimeter defensively, making her one of the more intriguing young guard prospects in the area in the 2023 class.
Lauren Scott (5'7 G / Worthington Kilbourne / 2022): The granddaughter of former Maryland and Ohio State coach Gary Williams, Scott has been on an absolute tear this season, stringing together multiple 30 point performances and dropping 23 to lead all scorers on Friday night. Scott is a volume shooter who can score from all three levels. Scott knocked down three triples, scored from the mid-range and finished off a couple scores near the rim. She has a solid handle, is extremely quick with the ball in her hands and makes good kick reads when blowing by defenders and attracting help-side defense. Scott is solid defensively as well and is the vocal lead for Worthington Kilbourne, a trait that you always love for your best player to have. Keep an eye on Scott, as she is one of the best around at simply putting the ball in the hoop.
Charia Smith (6'2 C / Westerville North / 2022): Smith put together an impressive performance for Westerville North on Friday night, dominating on the interior to make a big difference for the Lady Warriors and help them secure the win late. Smith has great size and length at 6-foot-2, however also showed off her ability to attack the rim and finish tonight, driving hard downhill left on one occasion and finishing a tough floater. Smith scored off second chances and showed great footwork inside. She is disciplined on the defensive interior and makes her presence felt on the glass. Smith is a solid prospect in the 2022 class as many teams Westerville North faces will not have a great matchup for her.