With the meat of the conference looming, Northern Guilford's girls basketball still has title hopes.
"We like our chances moving forward," said Assistant Coach Josh Evans, who is guiding the Nighthawks while head coach Kim Furlough recovers from treatment for a breast cancer recurrence.
Northern is 9-4 overall at the moment, 3-1 in the Mid State Athletic 2A/3A Conference; that puts the team in second place behind Western Alamance (4-0, 11-1).
"It's where we expected to be," said Evans, still smarting from the 44-39 loss Jan. 3 to conference foe Eastern Alamance (7-3, 2-1), which he said shouldn't have happened.
"We should have won, but Eastern came in here and took it from us," he said. "We won't let that happen again."
He was pleased with his girls' performance in the Greensboro HAECO Invitational in December, even though they lost by eight points to Greensboro Day (17-2) and 12 points to Ragsdale (12-2).
"We competed well at the HAECO," the assistant coach said. "We lost both of those, but we were in them. We were pleased with the effort in both those games."
The Nighthawks won one of their HAECO games, defeating Dudley (6-6) by 21 points.
"We're continuing to work the kinks out and get the girls up to speed," Evans said. "The preconference schedule is good for us."
With only three seniors, the Nighthawks are young this year. Eight of the 14 players are freshmen or sophomores. They're also small - none stand six feet or more. But Evans notes the team has talent and speed.
"Our goal is still to win the conference," he said. "We still think we can accomplish it."
Evans said Furlough is recovering well from a December procedure and expects to be back on the sidelines by late January.
"She's got good reports from the doctor," he confirmed.
Coming up: The Nighthawks will play Rockingham County (7-5, 0-3) in an away conference game this Friday.