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North a dual threat at Buffalo Grove

02/05/2013, 8:40pm CST
By Erik Schmidt

While Bailey North likes to downplay her importance on her team, her teammates and coaches know she is a vital part of her team’s success


Buffalo Grove's Bailey North (left) fights for a loose ball with Elk Grove's Diamond Boyd on Friday, February 1, 2013 in Buffalo Grove. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media

Here comes 6-foot Buffalo Grove forward Bailey North running up the court, presumably ready to hit the low post with the rest of the tall people.

But this time, she stops way short of that destination, calls for the ball, and drains a 3-pointer.

The Elk Grove defenders were rubbing their eyes. Did that actually happen?

“I definitely like being more of a contact player, personally,” North said. “But I like to step out every once in a while to mix it up.”

North is duality personified. She has the height and frame to be a dominant inside scorer and the skills to be a perimeter presence. Her ability to shift based on the ebb and flow of the game has proven to be the catalyst of the Bison offensive attack.

“She’s a very versatile player with a high basketball IQ,” coach Steve Kolodziej said. “This year we got post players that can score, so we try to complement that with an inside-out game, and Bailey is a big part of that.”

North’s running mate, senior forward Alyssa Mills, is the biggest benefactor of North’s precise interior passing. Against Elk Grove on Friday, North delivered a few surgical bounce passes to Mills that seemed to be guided by GPS.

Chalk that up to the fact that the North-Mills connection has played together since sixth-grade feeder programs. Or maybe it’s just because, as Mills believes, North is a genius on the hardwood.

“She’s really smart,” Mills said. “She’s my physics buddy in school, and she helps me a lot. I guess it’s the same way on the court.”

In that tough 60-51 loss to rival Elk Grove, North led Buffalo Grove with 10 points and was tasked with guarding star senior Diamond Boyd, who is a versatile player in her own right. Even though her coach and her teammates view her as irreplaceable, North doesn’t think she’s anything out of the ordinary.

“I think the way we run our offense, posts all have to be inside-out players,” North said. “Everybody runs that five spot we have up at the top of the key. So for me personally, I just try to play defense, rebound, score, just like everybody else.” ~.

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