The Homestead-Norwell girls basketball game has decided the winner of the NHC for the past few seasons, so things look good for the Knights after a 53-46 win at Homestead on Saturday.
Norwell (5-0, 1-0) gained the upper hand on Homestead (4-1, 0-1) in the conference by capturing the conference opener.
"It is a big game to start the conference, and we always look forward to this one," Norwell senior Taylor Wilson said.
Norwell coach Eric Thornton doesn't want to get too far ahead. The Knights captured the NHC last year after beating the Spartans 63-60 on a last-second shot by Hanna Smith.
Homestead won it two years ago after beating Norwell 41-36.
"This is Game 1 of a total of seven," Thornton said of the conference slate. "It gives our kids a lot of confidence.
"Our team really grew up today. This is a tough win for us."
Homestead played the game without senior guard Emily Bley, who is still recovering from offseason knee surgery.
The Spartans started two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior.
"They will contain to grow up, but her presence will be appreciated when she gets back," Homestead coach Rod Parker said of the team without Bley.