HIGH POINT — High Point Christian’s girls finally got over the hump.

Nadiya Hairston hit a mid-range jumper with 15 seconds left and the Cougars held on defensively to beat Southern Durham 43-42 in the Battle of the State basketball invitational Saturday at TW Andrews.

Earlier in the day, in a meeting of two of the area’s traditional powers, Northern Guilford built a sizable lead early and fended off a late run to defeat TW Andrews’ girls 70-51.

“We went down for about five seconds,” HPCA coach Brittany Drew said. “And to hit a big shot — that was perfect. I think, for us, it’s just adversity. So, I’m glad to get this quality win.”

Hairston scored 15 points to lead the Cougars (9-9), who’ve struggled at times this season to win close games in a more challenging schedule. But none were bigger than her jumper in the closing seconds.

After the Spartans (8-4) erased a double-digit deficit to lead by one on a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left, HPCA quickly got the ball upcourt. Hairston pulled up near the left elbow and drained the shot to give the Cougars back the lead.

“It feels great,” said Hairston, a junior guard. “We’ve been having trouble icing games. So, to finally finish a game with a dub is really good for us. I’m excited.’ ”

Southern Durham had one last opportunity following a timeout with 4.5 seconds left. It worked the ball along the left wing, looking for an opening. But it didn’t get off a shot until after the buzzer, sealing the win for the Cougars.

“I’ve been working on that shot all week in practice,” Hairston said. “So, I got past the girl and I was like, ‘We need this bucket right here.’ I saw the big girl down there, so I was like, ‘I can’t get a layup.’ I pulled up as close as I could and it went in.”

Angel Walker added nine points for HPCA, which trailed by 11 before scoring the final 13 points of the second quarter to lead 22-20 into halftime. It opened the third on an 11-3 run to lead by 10 with four minutes left in the quarter.

The Cougars open NCISAA Piedmont Triad Athletic Conference play Tuesday at crosstown rival Westchester Country Day.

NORTHERN GUILFORD, TW ANDREWSAlex Belton scored 13 points to lead TW Andrews (9-3), which has cruised so far during the opening weeks of Mid-State 2A Conference play.

Zaria Scott added 10 points, while Anaya Cureton and Ashley Bowman each added nine points.

“This was exactly what we wanted,” Lady Raiders coach John Shearin said. “We had some moments where we did some things we liked. And then some we did things we didn’t like, stuff we know we need to clean up.”

Northern Guilford (12-0), ranked No. 12 in the state overall and No. 1 among 4A teams, raced to a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The Nighthawks used full-court pressure defense to force turnovers that quickly led into offense.

Northern scored the opening nine points of the game, led by 11 two minutes left in the quarter and took a 17-7 lead into the second quarter.

It scored the final nine points of the half to lead 33-14 into halftime.

The Nighthawks extended their lead to 23 in the third and again early in the fourth period.

But Andrews rallied late.

While Northern regrouped after losing starting guard Christina Delisa to what appeared to be a hip injury, the Lady Raiders netted 11 straight points — scoring on five straight possessions — to pull within 10 with 2:11 left in the game.

The Nighthawks, who were led by Jasmine Harris with 17 points, answered with a three-point play with 1:57 left to spark an 11-point run of their own, largely on free throws, to rebuild their 21-point lead inside the final minute.

But Andrews, which is next scheduled to play Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Walkertown, will aim to use what it learned against a challenging opponent to finish the final month of the regular season strong.

“They executed their game plan a little better than we did,” Shearin said. “They’re a great ball team over there. And when you play great teams, it’s only going to make us better.”

HIGH POINT CHRISTIAN GIRLS 43, SOUTHERN DURHAM 42

SD 15 5 11 11 — 42

HPCA 9 13 14 7 — 43

SOUTHERN DURHAM

Chloe Richmond 11, Briana Hughes 10, Sanders 9, Sutton 9, Christopher 3

HIGH POINT CHRISTIAN

Nadiya Hairston 15, Walker 9, Powell 8, Limbacher 8, Krajisnik

NORTHERN GUILFORD GIRLS 70, TW ANDREWS 51

NG 17 16 19 18 — 70

TWA 7 7 17 20 — 51

NORTHERN GUILFORD

Jasmine Harris 17, Laurel Grace Zlotkowski 15, Avery Burnham 13, Jadyn Newsome 12, C. Delisa 7, Gram 3, Wagoner 3

TW ANDREWS

Alex Belton 13, Zaria Scott 10, Cureton 9, Bowman 9, Briggs 8, Johnson 2

mlindsay@hpenews.com | 336-888-3526 | @HPEmichael

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