Do you hear that sound?? It’s the sound of the hype train across Northrop High School as they travel to Huntertown Friday to face the Carroll Chargers. For the first time since the 2017-18 and the 7th since 2000, Northrop is 2-0 on the season. Historically, girls basketball at Northrop has been a rich one for the school winning several SAC titles to go along with their 11 sectionals, 8 regionals, 2 semistate, and a 1986 state championship. But the last 14 years have been a struggle to regain that dominance they once had in the 80s and 90s.
However, take at look at this roster Katie Jackson has built. The Jackson 3: Neveah, Saniya, and Kamiyah Jackson. Then you get to see Niya Bell, Amanda Thatcher, Alexa Robinson, Kobi Scott, J’asia Scott, Ava Kahn, and now Angola transfer Riley Pepple. All in all, you got a team that can play any style on any opponent, have the talent to compete every single night against any kind of competition, and any of these players can have a crucial moment on a given night.
This isn’t just a very skilled basketball team. They’re extremely hard nosed and stingy on the defensive side of the ball, but they’re also quick in transition, and they play with a high IQ. The Jackson girls are exceptionally skilled players that not only have several traits of being star players (shooting or scoring inside), but they’re effortless in learning the plays particularly with the pick-in-roll.
So, all in all, you have a nightmare to prepare for every time you face Northrop, and for the first time in years, the Bruins have some swagger.
A good test will come their way against the always competitive Carroll Lady Chargers. Coming off their 41-37 win over Huntington North, the defensive side of their game has been pretty strong so far for the 5-time reigning sectional champs. But it’s going to be Interesting to see how girls like Jasmine Anderson and Lexi Castator are able to contain the athletic prowess the Jackson girls bring on both sides of the court.
If they can slow down the game to where it becomes a more meticulous style of basketball, it could get Northrop off rhythm, but that’s a big if. Plus, Taylor Fordyce will need to continue to stay hot averaging 12.5 points, 7.3 boards and 2.3 assists. Castator is off to a slow start averaging just 5.8 points, 3 boards, 1.3 assists, and 2.3 steals. Kayla Gibbs had 15 in her team’s win over Huntington North and is averaging double figures as well. If the rest can make the shots they normally make, Carroll will be ok. But the depth lost from graduation and transfers has definitely made things a bit daunting early in the season.
Now, the last time these two met, Northrop lost 83-47. But a lot has changed since December 2, 2020. Like I mean a lot. What Northrop has done under Katie Jackson is nothing short of remarkable. Now, will that be enough to contend with the elite teams and try to win some hardware?? That we will find out soon enough.