LOYSBURG - Teams that leave the Northern Bedford shooters open back of the 3-point line usually wind up regretting it.
After a sluggish start, the Lady Panthers got hot from behind the arc and went on a to a 72-64 win over Everett Thursday.
Leah Hershberger, Alyssa Smith and Ashley McGhee combined to sink eight 3-pointers as Northern Bedford improved to 17-4 on the season.
Hershberger finished with a team-high 24 points, McGhee scored 14 points and Smith added 13.
"We've gotten off to a slow start in a lot of our games," Hershberger said. "Once we make a couple 3s that gets us excited, and it opens up the inside for us."
Briana Beach backstopped the Northern defensive effort. The 6-foot-2 center pulled down nine rebounds and blocked six shots.
"Briana gives us a real presence inside," Northern coach Todd Eckenroad said. "She's really stepped up for us the last couple weeks and played some good ball."
Beach blocked four shots alone in the first quarter, making the Everett players think twice about driving to the rim.
"She's just awesome. Teams get kind of intimidated by her in there. You can see it on their faces," Hershberger said.
Aubrea Phipps got Everett off to a quick start with back-to-back layups on the fast break, and when Rachel Clark sank a jumper on the baseline, the Lady Warriors were up 8-2 midway through the opening period.
Phipps scored nearly half Everett's points, pouring in a game-high 31 points.
Three-pointers by Smith and McGhee pulled Northern within a bucket at quarters end, and Hershberger drained one from well back of the line early in the second that gave Northern a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
"They shouldn't have been as open as they were. The scouting report is to pick them up at halfcourt, but we were standing in the key," Everett coach Keith Moyer said. "We played well enough to win on offense, but we didn't play defense."
The Lady Panthers went on to score 22 points in the quarter, and by halftime, held a nine-point lead.
Northern scored the first four points of the second half to go up by 13, but Everett outscored the Lady Panthers 11-4 after that.
Logan Brallier keyed the spurt with seven points, and when Clark followed her own miss with a short jump shot midway through the third quarter, Everett was within four at 40-36.
Following a timeout, Northern increased the lead back to nine when Smith hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Hershberger made a pair of free throws.
Back-to-back buckets from Phipps and Taylor Hillenbrand got Everett close once again, but Hershberger and Smith closed out the quarter with 3-pointers that gave Northern a double-digit lead.
Northern sealed the win from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"Their girls didn't quit. They kept hanging around. This is a good win for us," Eckenroad said. "We kept our composure and hit our free throws. That's what we need to do. They're all going to be close games from here on out."
Three of Northern's 17 wins have come at the expense of Everett, but the Lady Warriors may get one more shot at Northern in the district playoffs.
Northern Bedford closes out the regular season Monday with a home game against Southern Fulton, the top team in both the Inter-County Conference South Division and the Sideling Hill League.
Everett plays at Claysburg-Kimmel tonight then finishes out the regular season next week with home games against McConnellsburg and Tussey Mountain.
EVERETT (64): Morral 4 3-4 14, Beegle 0 0-2 0, Clark 3 0-0 6, Phipps 11 9-11 31, Duvall 0 1-2 1, Brallier 2 2-2 7, Hillenbrand 2 1-2 5. Totals - 22 16-26 64.
NORTHERN BEDFORD (72): McGhee 5 2-3 14, Cottle 3 2-2 8, Hershberger 7 7-8 24, Smith 3 4-6 13, Beach 2 3-9 7, Potter 2 2-2 6. Totals - 22 20-30 72.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Everett12 11 18 23 - 64
Northern Bedford10 22 19 21 - 72
3-point goals: Everett 4 (Morral 3, Brallier); Northern Bedford 8 (Hershberger 3, Smith 3, McGhee 2).
Records: Everett (8-10, 4-6 ICC South, 6-6 Sideling Hill); Northern Bedford (17-4, 8-3 ICC South, 10-3 Sideling Hill).
Officials: Tracy Cornelius, Don Donaldson, Sarah Fye.
JV: Everett, 28-18. High scorers-Brallier, E, 10; Cronrath, NB, 8.