Newton’ senior guard Allison Harris wasn’t having any part of the cat and mouse game the Eagles and Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City were playing for four quarters that sent their 2019 Dieterich Girls Holiday Tournament championship game into overtime.
The all-tournament team selection drained a three with 1:59 left in the extra period and added two free-throws with less than 24 seconds left giving the Eagles a 56-52 win.
Newton came out of the break with Claire Carr intercepting a CHBC pass and was fouled immediately by the Bobcat’s freshman center Lauren Wojcik. With both teams in the penalty, Carr made both free throws putting the Eagles up 51-49.
The Bobcats responded with two free throws of their own by senior guard Jaelyn Robertson giving them a 52-51 lead halfway through the overtime period before Harris’ heroics.
“Amazing game! I’m in shock of it all. It was back and forth. It was a tight game the whole way,” Newton varsity coach Brad Harris said. “I couldn’t be dissapointed either way.”
With seven seconds remaining in the first quarter and the score tied at 11, The Eagles took a two point lead on a bucket by senior guard Brooke Jansen.
CHBC started the second quarter with a 5 second inbound violation giving the ball back to Newton. The Eagles couldn’t capitalize when Eagles’ senior center Renae Russell missed two free throws.
Harris extended their lead to four with another bucket of her to make it 15-11. CHBC stormed o back on an 8-0 run bolstered by the strong shooting of junior guard Mackenzie Bunch who notched 4 points taking a 19-15 lead.
CHBC’s Robertson threw the ball out of bounds with 46 seconds left giving the Eagles the ball back. Newton sophomore guard Morgan White drained a bucket tying the game at 21. That score would stand going into the half.
The Eagles and Bobcats traded barbs in the third quarter as CHBC took a one point lead going into the fourth quarter on balanced scoring from Robertson with 6, junior guard Carson Burk with 5, and Lani Morrison, Bunch, and Wojcik contributing 2.
Newton took a five-point lead, 47-42, on a give and go from Carr to Harris with 1:21 left to play.
“Part of our game plan coming in was to focus on more back-doors. We knew they liked to play aggressive and jump passing lanes,” Harris said. “The girls recognized it and played it well and broke them down and got some easy baskets on the back for us.”
CHBC whittled the score to 47-46 when Carson Burks made two free throws. Newton junior guard Allison Einhorn drew a foul on the inbound but missed both free throws.
The Bobcats failed to take advantage when Robertson had a miscommunication with a teammate and threw the ball out of bounds with 29.6 seconds left.
Newton again put the ball in the hands of Harris who drew a foul sending her to the charity stripe making the score 49-46. Carr drew a foul of her own just 12 seconds later – but missing both.
The Eagles with a miscommunication of their own, left CHBC’s Burks wide open. With a clear look to the basket, the Bobcat guard drained a three with four seconds left sending the game into overtime.
CHBC played a heck of a game. We played a good game too. Credit to both teams. Regulation wasn’t enough. We had to make it more exciting by going to overtime.
The Bobcats could only manage three free throws in the extra period as Newton’s Harris took control.
Harris said he was proud of his two senior stars.
“Both of them (Harris and Jansen) took a lot steps forward during this tournament. It showed. They were the leading scorers most of the game -the two of them.”
Harris would finish with 19, and Jansen 17.
Defensively, their was their plan to shut down CHBC’s Robertson.
“We hoped to play a bit more man with them. We struggled to keep them out of the lane,” he said.
CHBC’s leading scorer, Robertson finished with 18.
“ They’re really good at driving and attacking the basket. We hadn’t worked a lot on zone this year. We did last year. We shut down their driving game,” Harris said. “ It seemed like it slowed them down. They like to play up-tempo. We made some adjustments to help inside with our post-game.”
With double-digit wins entering the tournament, Newton exceeded their win total of last year.
“I’m really proud of the girls. They came into this tournament last year with two or three wins,” he said. “Im proud of the way they stepped forward this year.”
CHBC’s Bunch had 13, Burks 10, Wojcik 7 and Morrison 4.
For the Eagles, Carr and Whitney Zumbahlen finished with 8, and Eliza Bierman and Renae Russell finished with 2.
CHBC committed 28 turnovers to Newton’s 14.
Notes: The 2019 Dieterich Girls Holiday Tournament All-Tournament team are: Newton’s Brooke Jansen, Allison Harris; Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City’s Jaclyn Robertson and Lauren Wojcik; North Clay’s Madison Lovett; Brownstown St. Elmo’s Claire Wilhour and Olivia Campbell; Arcola’s Ellen Hopkins; Casey-Westfield’s Eva Richardson; and South Central’s Laney Webster.