With more than town bragging rights on the line, the Pickerington High School Central senior post player Emilee Harmon scored 19 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Tigers past Pickerington North 51-47 Tuesday.

With more than town bragging rights on the line, the Pickerington High School Central senior post player Emilee Harmon scored 19 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Tigers past Pickerington North 51-47 Tuesday.

Central's win -- its second against North this season -- improved the Tigers to 12-2 overall and into a first-place tie with the Panthers in the OCC-Ohio Division at 8-2.

"Our main focus wasn't we're playing North, but our backs were against the wall and we had to win," Harmon said. "We have six seniors, and we've won three OCCs. We're not about to lose a fourth one.

Central trailed 25-15 at halftime. Harmon had four points and was shut out in the second quarter. North held its biggest lead after the opening passion of the third quarter as a Jen Rennell layup provided a 27-15 advantage.

"We didn't have any movement, and we couldn't get the ball inside in the first half," Central coach Wade Brockwell said. "We made some adjustments and our kids dug in."

With 4 minutes, 49 seconds left to play, Central took its first lead 41-40 on two free throws by Samantha Griffith. Non-factors in the first half, Griffith and Harmon gained control of the frontcourt. The duo combined for 16 third-quarter points.

"All week coach talked about the team that wins the most rebounds wins the game," Griffith said. "We knew we had to go out and out rebound them and do the little things."

Griffith finished with 13 points and none bigger than her layup with 54 seconds remaining that gave the Tigers the lead for good at 48-46. North's Shelby Olszewski had a chance to tie the game on the ensuing possession but made only one of two free throws.

North finished 12-for-27 from the free throw line and Central was 20-for-27.

"We make our free throws in the first half and we're ahead 17 to 18 points at halftime," said North coach Dave Butcher, whose team dropped to 11-4. "The game is probably over. We shot poorly all year long, Central came back and down the stretch made foul shots and big plays."

Kavuna Edwards finished with 14 points and six blocks for North who controlled its own destiny in the OCC-Ohio entering the game.

Both teams have four conference games remaining.

"It's just us and North and we've beaten them twice," Brockwell said. "We got to bring it again, every single night. We have to play every night like (the opponent is) North."