SHARPSVILLE — Class 2A No. 9-ranked Northwestern beat Class A No. 7 Tri-Central 53-40 in girls basketball action here Saturday night.

Up 21-20 at halftime, Northwestern took control in the second half. The Tigers led 36-31 at the end of the third quarter and maintained control in the final quarter en route to the 13-point win.

“The first half was a game of runs,” Northwestern coach Mike McCroskey said. “We got up 11-1 and Tri-Central came back to tie it 11-11 at the end of the first quarter. When we were able to get out and run, we were able to score. But, when we played half court offense, Tri-Central exposed some things that we have to work on.”

Northwestern improved to 5-0 while Tri-Central dropped to 2-2.

Audrey Gaither led Northwestern with 21 points. Lauren Giesecke added 12 points. Amber Suiters led Tri-Central with 10 points and Rachel Hewitt and Sarah Adams each had eight points.

Tri-Central plays at Madison-Grant Wednesday, and Northwestern plays at Clinton Central Thursday.

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