Lights out: Lady Red Devils score 38 straight points, advance to second straight CVAC title game
For the second time in three games, the Lady Red Devils and Lady Warriors faced off.
Unfortunately for West Caldwell, it was the same result.
Newton-Conover (21-2) scored 38 straight points on their way to a dominant Catawba Valley Athletic Conference semifinal win against West Caldwell.
The Lady Red Devils made up for a lack on intensity that coach Jonathan Tharpe saw in their opening round victory against Bunker Hill on Monday.
"The energy was just fantastic tonight," Tharpe said. "Right from the beginning, it was just fantastic. I told them they were going to have to do the same thing on not only Friday, but in the playoffs as well."
Newton-Conover jumped out to a 13-0 lead over the Lady Warriors in the opening quarter and forced 12 West Caldwell turnovers.
The Warriors struggled offensively, missing all 14 of their first half field goal attempts. A lot of that was due to a tough Newton-Conover defense.
"I thought we did a fantastic job of moving our feet and making them move east to west," Tharpe said. "We also had active hands, but played defense without fouling. We got into their passing lanes and got deflections."
West Caldwell (10-15) scored their first points of the game in the second quarter at the 47.5 second mark, as Molly Steptoe made both of her two free throw attempts.
Senior Tiana Littlejohn led the Lady Red Devil charge in the first half, scoring 12 points.
"We really had to go in with the mindset that we can't play around with teams, even if they aren't on our level," Littlejohn said. "Coach really stressed that last game. As a team, we knew that ourselves. It is getting so close to playoffs and as a senior, we don't want to be one-and-done."
All of West Caldwell's points up until the fourth quarter were off of free throw attempts. They were 3-for-10 from the charity stripe in the game.
The Lady Warriors didn't make a field goal in the game until the 4:04 mark in the fourth quarter, when Morgan Bowman scored on a lay up.
West Caldwell was just 1-for-33 on their field goal attempts in the game, including 1-for-19 shooting in the second half.
Littlejohn led the Lady Red Devils in the victory with a game-high 16 points. Shynese Whitener added 11 points
Newton-Conover returns to the CVAC Championship game on Friday, which they won last year, and will face the winner of Bandys and East Burke. That game will be played Thursday.
"This win gives us confidence, but not too much," Littlejohn said. "When we play teams like Bandys and East Burke, it takes just as much effort, if not more, than it did here tonight."