STE. GENEVIEVE – North County senior Hunter Johnson recorded six of his team’s 13 3-pointers in a dominant shooting display against conference foe Ste. Genevieve on Friday night.
Johnson notched his team-high 18 points solely from the perimeter in a 72-53 victory as the Raiders defeated the Dragons for the fourth consecutive time.
Hayden Sprenkel opened scoring with a 3-pointer for North County (11-3, 1-0) after Isiah Poirrier intercepted a pass from Ste. Genevieve (4-9, 0-1) on the initial possession of the game.
Sprenkel posted 16 points and six rebounds, while Poirrier ended with 10 points plus a game-high eight boards.
Freshman Logan Trollinger paced all players with 21 points by constantly attacking the basket and often reaching the free-throw line for the Dragons.
The Raiders generated early momentum through an 11-0 run in the first quarter, and gained a 13-2 edge four minutes into the game.
Sprenkel widened the margin to 18-8 on a completed 3-point play in transition with 1:30 to play in the first period.
Brady Boyer recorded his lone basket for the Dragons on a putback at the buzzer to bring the host squad within 20-10.
North County continued to create open looks near the basket into the second quarter, but struggled to convert some of those chances. The Raiders still sank three perimeter shots during the period to hold a 31-24 halftime edge.
Ste. Genevieve notched the first five points out of the break until the Raiders answered with a key 13-0 stretch over the following three minutes.
Johnson nailed back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter before Derek Morganthaler snapped the North County run with his own long-distance shot on the next trip to make the score 44-32.
Morganthaler and Gabe Greminger each tallied nine points for the Dragons.
John Starkey attempted a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter, then Sprenkel corralled the miss and connected with Starkey beneath the basket to make the advantage 53-39. Starkey ended with nine points.
Trollinger stole an entry pass and was intentionally fouled in the open court during the first 15 seconds of the fourth quarter. But the Raiders continued to attack and extend their late advantage.
Poirrier grabbed his own miss, and scored to achieve a 69-49 North County lead with two minutes left.