Newton-Conover’s girls varsity team improved to 2-0 in conference play Friday night, with a 59-47 win over Bandys.
The Trojans took an early 4-3 lead in the first quarter, but the Lady Red Devils went on a 13-2 run to end the quarter and take the momentum.
“We talked about coming out and going right at them,” said Newton-Conover head coach Jonathan Tharp. “We knew we had to come out and be aggressive and match their intensity. Bandys has been scoring a lot of points lately, so it was important we set the tempo.”
After taking their only lead of the night, 4-3 in the opening minutes of the game, the Trojans’ offense fell quiet, being shut out for more than 4 minutes. Bandys had 19 turnovers in the first half, but did manage to out-rebound Newton-Conover 36-to-31 during the first two quarters.
“Bandys gets a lot of points in transition,” Tharp said. “We felt like if we could make them play in the half-court, and limit our mistakes offensively, then we would have a chance to win.”
Kadesha Gibbs and Quazzy Tipps led Newton-Conover with 16 points each, while Shynese Whitener added another 14 points in the win.
“We have great guards, but to win you have to play well in the post, and Kadesha is everything we want down there,” Tharp said. “She’s big, plays physical and makes tough shots. She works hard and is a big piece of our puzzle.”
Newton-Conover used a zone defense to pressure Bandys in the half-court, resulting in 26 Lady Trojan turnovers. The Lady Red Devils also finished the game 17-of-24 from the foul line.
“We are still growing, and it’s good to see that we are learning in game situations,” Tharp said. “We made some rash decisions on the offensive end, but we were able to capitalize on the defensive side with limiting their shots and creating turnovers.”
For Bandys, freshman Madi Story led all scorers with 18 points during the night, scoring 13 in the second half. Jesse Story also finished with 8 points, netting a pair of three-pointers in the second half, in the loss.
“The real key for us was limiting Jesse to just 8 points, but the younger one, Madi, is going to be a special player,” Tharp said. “She may be their overall best player, defensive and offensive wise, and she’s only a freshman. And that is scary for the years to come.”
Bandys moves to 6-2 overall on the season and 1-1 in conference play, while Newton-Conover improves to 5-1 on the year and 2-0 in the conference.