Phenom game report: Terry Sanford vs. Northwood 

By Johnathan Kirkland

Saturday night Terry Sanford played host to Northwood for a spot in the NCHSAA 3A final four. The top seeded Terry Sanford fell to the 13 seed Northwood 43-41 in a hard fought game that pitted two different styles of defense, but both worked out to perfection in a low scoring game. 

After the first quarter Terry Sanford led 10-8, and the game was tied at 25 heading into the half. The top scorers for both teams, Terry Sanford’s Davis Molnar (2022), and Northwood’s Jarin Stevenson (2024) struggled to score throughout the game thanks to the defense played by the opposing team. Molnar was tasked with defending Stevenson all night and he did a phenomenal job. Stevenson’s only points came from two three-pointers and two free throws for 8 total points. Stevenson didn’t let that bother him though, as he was able to find his teammates for open shots and cutting to the basket, as well as pulling down crucial rebounds for Northwood. 

Molnar and the entire Terry Sanford team struggled to find a way to break through Northwood’s 2-3 zone defense all night. They only made three three-pointers all night, all of them coming in the first half. 

Neither team was able to get a lead of more than two possesions the entire game, with the score tied again at 35 heading into the final quarter. 

The game was decided after Terry Sanford put up a mid-range jump shot with 45 seconds to play in the game with the game tied at 41. The shot missed and Stevenson pulled down the rebound and was fouled underneath the Terry Sanford basket. Stevenson went to the line for a 1-1 and made both free throws to put Northwood up 43-41 with 43 seconds to play. 

Terry Sanford held for the last shot, and with 20 seconds left they called a timeout to try and set up a play to tie or win the game. They got up a good three-point shot that was off and Stevenson pulled down the rebound again with 15 seconds to play. Stevenson missed the free-throw though and Terry Sanford had two opportunities to tie the game but came up short and Northwood came away with the victory. 

With the win Northwood moves on to face the three seed West Carteret in the 3A semifinals on Tuesday. 

Terry Sanford 10 15 10 6 41

Northwood      8   17 10 8 43

Terry Sanford

Davis Molnar 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Anthony Geddie 7 points, 1 steal
Kaylon Keys 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist

Northwood

Troy Arnold 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Colby Burleson 10 points
Drake Powell 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Jarin Stevenson 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal

Standouts

 Davis Molnar Terry Sanford (6’6 2022) Molnar was Terry Sanford’s leading scorer with 12 points, but his defense on freshman standout Jarin Stevenson was the story of the night. Molnar was up to the task and more, making sure Stevenson felt smothered all night. He was active with his hands, defending passes by other players while still keeping close tabs on his man. What Molnar did on Saturday will not show up on a stat sheet, but his defense was key in giving Terry Sanford a shot at the win. He has a pure shot as well, and is a smooth passer, finding the open man when needed. 

Jarin Stevenson Northwood (6’8 2024) Stevenson is one of three freshmen that lead the Northwood team. At 6’8 he may still have a few more inches to grow before it is all said and done. Stevenson is an extremely athletic player and has a high basketball IQ. Like we said above, he was hampered by Molnar’s defense all night. But Stevenson didn’t force contested shots, or make bad decisions when he was faced with that. He did what any great player does, he stepped up to get his teammates the ball. He had 3 assists, and several other passes that lead to Northwood points. 

Drake Powell Northwood (6’5 2024) Powell is another of the Northwood freshmen that has led them to a final four in their first season with the team. Powell is a guard that has length and ball handling skills. He is able to see the court at all times, and has the ability to finish at the rim with strength to go with his length. Powell seemed to be involved with just about everything during the game, showing his grit and hustle on the court.

Kaylon Keys Terry Sanford (5’10 2021) Keys had a solid game for Terry Sanford with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. At only 5’10, Keys will get down on the block and fight for every rebound. He has a get up and go factor that coaches love to see. He played a strong defensive game as well, using his hands to frustrate opposing players and force them at times into ill-advised passes or turnovers. 

Troy Arnold Northwood (5’10 2021) Arnold was the leading scorer for Northwood, all 12 of his points coming from behind the arc. He was 4-7 on the night from three-point range. He has a pure shot and doesn’t take bad shots. All 7 of his attempts were shots that a coach isn’t going to get mad about.