Blakeny finished with a game-high 23 points. Sullivan added 20.
“Once we got going, we hit a couple of big shots and we clung together and tightened up the defense,” North coach Chris Forrest said. “We stopped getting lost and we hit some big shots.”
After the 4-pointer, Sullivan got Blakeny more involved in the offense.
“I know if I give it up to her, she’s going to make the shot,” Sullivan said.
Howell Central coach Hayley Leake took some of the blame for the loss.
“We needed to respond better and that starts with me,” Leake said. “It starts with the head coach and that should permeate down to the players. I’ll say I need to be better. I need to put them in a better position to be successful. I did feel like our response wasn’t as consistent as it needed to be.”
Senior forward Sofia Tweedie led Howell Central with 15 points.
Forrest enjoyed the 43-point explosion by his dynamic duo, but he was also pleased with the contribution from his second-line players.
“I can’t give our bench and those girls credit enough because we didn’t go deep,” Forrest said. “The girls that were here were screaming their butts off. Without having fans in the stands, we’ve got to find ways to manifest our energy and the bench really did that tonight.”
Forrest is looking forward to facing Rolla, which has captured its first three games by a combined 79 points. The Bulldogs won 23 of 27 games last season.
“They’re long, they’re big and they trap well,” Forrest said. “Their girls play extremely hard. We’re going to be in it in every possession and give it our all.”