This season's first meeting between the Pickerington high school Central and North girls basketball teams probably won't soon be forgotten by anyone who participated or watched, and not because of any dramatic ending.

This season's first meeting between the Pickerington high school Central and North girls basketball teams probably won't soon be forgotten by anyone who participated or watched, and not because of any dramatic ending.

The beginning of the Panthers-Tigers clash Dec. 8 at Central set the tone for the Tigers' most lopsided win in the history of the rivalry.

North missed six of its first seven shots from the field, then was limited to just three attempts in the second quarter as Central outscored the Panthers 22-5 en route to a 71-29 win.

Freshmen took center stage for the Tigers, who kept up their early-season success with a 63-54 win at Reynoldsburg on Dec. 11, outscoring the Raiders 22-9 in the fourth quarter, to improve to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division.

One of their ninth-graders, guard Madison Greene, scored a game-high 22 points in both wins. Her classmate, forward Maliya Perry, added 19 points against North and scored 11 against Reynoldsburg.

"(Greene) is poised. It seems like she has been playing high school basketball for a long time," Central coach Johnathan Hedgepeth said. "She handles pressure really well. She can get out of trouble, she can get to the rim and she can shoot."

Even so, Greene describes herself as a defensive-minded player above all else.

"I play really good defense," Greene said. "I think I am a pretty good shooter, sometimes. I work hard on defense. I try to stay in front of the ball. I don't go for too many steals because if you stay in front, they hopefully will give you the ball. That's what I try to do.

"We are really hyped and really excited. We are loving this feeling. It can't get any better than this right now."

It was the biggest rout in the Central-North rivalry since a 73-27 Panthers win on Dec. 9, 2011.

The teams have split the season series each of the past three years.

North rebounded with its own solid defensive performance, doubling up host Lancaster 46-23 on Dec. 11 to improve to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Groveport on Dec. 15. Lauryn Lipscomb had a game-high 16 points and Danielle Bradley added 15.

Paige Matijasich had nine points to lead North against Central.

Holiday basketball returns to North

North's We Are Pickerington event last season effectively replaced the Lady Panther Holiday Classic after a 27-year run, and now the eight-team, two-day tournament has undergone a makeover of its own.

We Are Pickerington is now the Pickerington North Holiday Tournament.

It will take place Monday, Dec. 21, and Tuesday, Dec. 22, and includes the girls teams from Eastmoor Academy, Hilliard Bradley and Zanesville as well as the boys teams from Centennial, Groveport and Springfield.

Central's teams participated last year but are not this season.

North's boys will play Centennial on Dec. 21 and Springfield on Dec. 22, and the Panthers' girls will play Eastmoor on Dec. 21 and Bradley on Dec. 22.

As was the case last year, the Pickerington North Holiday Tournament will not declare a champion through bracket play.