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Patriots survive to beat Northview
Berkmar led by Towns' 14 points

DULUTH - Following a shaky first quarter, the Berkmar girls basketball seemed to be headed for an early exit from the state playoffs.

However thanks to a pressing defense and methodical offensive attack, Berkmar outlasted Northview for a 50-44 win in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs in Duluth.

The Patriots struggled early as Northview took advantage of a timid Berkmar team and raced to a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

"We just came out dead on defense today," Berkmar coach Tamara Brooks said. "Usually we are a little more aggressive than that, in their faces."

Following a weak second quarter, Berkmar found its groove in the second half. The Patriots used a 7-2 run to cut Northview's lead to four - thanks to the play of Ka'Vonne Towns, who led the team with 14 points and helped her team come back with a three-pointer that cut the deficit to one.

Berkmar entered the final quarter down three and put on a fantastic defensive effort to win the game. With a pressing defense that disrupted Northview's rhythm, Berkmar was able to hold Northview to three points in the quarter.

Guard Ikeida Douglas made her only field goal of the game - a three pointer - that gave Berkmar its first lead of the game with 5:18 remaining.

Northview did not hit a field goal for the rest of the game and Berkmar made its free throws down the stretch to advance to a second round matchup at Mill Creek on Wednesday.

Brooks was relieved to see her team finally pull through,

"We were throwing balls away, it was the adrenaline and the excitement, but in the second half we found our groove again," she said.