Lawrenceville’s physical edge was evident for all but about the first six minutes of its game against Newton on Monday.
The Indians started three players standing six-feet or taller and another at five-foot-10, offering a tall task for the Newton defenders — one which proved too much. The Eagles lost 60-46.
Six-footers Brianna Mefford and Kourtney Osmon led the Indians with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Six-foot-one forward Morgan Parrish scored seven points.
But Newton only trailed by two points, 30-28, at halftime, despite an Indians’ 12-1 run during the first half.
Eagles head coach Brad Harris said his team started the third quarter “sluggish” and had costly turnovers.
After Newton scored the first two points of the second half, Lawrenceville went on an 11-0 run to take a 41-30 lead with 2:26 left in the third.
The Indians took a 45-34 lead into the fourth quarter, making it tough for Newton to mount a comeback; however, the Eagles came out playing harder in the last eight minutes and closed to within seven points, 53-46, with 1:19 remaining.
Lawrenceville scored the last seven points of the game.
“It seemed like every position we were at a mismatch,” Harris said.
The Newton coach said he wanted his team to attack the size with his team’s speed. Ariel Richards and the Eagles did that to take a 16-8 lead with 2:35 left in the first quarter.
An 8-1 run brought the Indians back into a 17-16 game after the first quarter.
Lawrenceville’s defense dropped into a 2-3 zone, from a full-court press, which Harris said dictated what his team did.
“We were able to attack the press and got some scores off of that,” Harris said. “We have to keep playing our style of basketball and not let the other team dictate what we’re doing.”
The 8-1 run continued into the second quarter and extended to a 12-1 run before Newton scored again.
Richards scored 17 of the Eagles’ 28 first-half points, but was limited to only two points in the second half.
Harris said Lawrenceville played a box-and-one defense to slow down Richards for the rest of the game. The Eagles tried screens and giving her the ball earlier in the possession, but the Indians shut her down.
Brooke Koebele scored nine points and Andrea Cartright added eight for the Eagles.
Newton falls to 9-12 (4-3 LIC) this season and will return to action at 6:15 p.m. today against Palestine/Hustsonville.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Newton 17 11 6 12 46
Lawrenceville 16 14 15 15 60
Newton: Richards 19, Koebele 9, Cartright 8, Kerner 5, Will 3, Davidson 2
Lawrenceville: Andrews 11, Mefford 15, Osmon 14, Ferrell 8, Parrish 7