NEWTON, N.C — The stage was set inside of Jerry Copas Gymnasium, home of Fred T. Foard, as the Lady Tigers’ varsity basketball team prepared for battle against in-town foe Newton-Conover on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
The Lady Tigers and Lady Red Devils were each coming off of losses the previous night.
Foard succumbed to Western Foothills 3A Conference opponent East Lincoln (11-2, 4-0 WFAC) on the road, 69-46.
Meanwhile, Newton-Conover lost a shocker to Catawba Valley 2A Conference combatant East Burke (6-5, 2-1 CVAC) in front of its home fans, 59-50.
That loss marked the Lady Red Devils’ second loss of the 2021-22 season, both of which came at home as it also lost to Alexander Central, 58-35, on Dec. 7, 2021.
As far as Wednesday night’s encounter with the Lady Tigers (8-5, 2-1 WFAC), Newton-Conover (10-2, 1-1 CVAC) was able to collect a strong bounce-back victory, 61-38.
“I don’t take anything away from East Burke because they came out [on Tuesday] and shot the ball well,” said Newton-Conover head coach Sylvia White about her team’s bounce-back effort. “We’ve had two home outings [where] we felt like we didn’t get a first quarter defense and rebounding job that we needed. So, we really focused on that [against Foard]. The first offensive possession we got like three, four boards at the basket.
“With our height and size, we should be able to do that more consistently. So, that’s what set the tone for the night, and that’s what we talked about a whole lot in the locker room. We got to be able to capitalize on those kinds of things.”
Unfortunately, Foard was without its starting point guard Alexis Wolgemuth who broke a finger on her shooting hand in Tuesday’s contest at East Lincoln.
Although the final result seemed lopsided, the Lady Tigers put up a fight early to hang tough led by junior guard/forward Samaria Tipps as she unofficially garnered a team-best 17 points, three boards, five assists and a steal. Tipps also converted 5-of-6 from the foul line.
Her counterpart for the Lady Red Devils via junior point guard Cassidy Geddes kicked into another gear in the second half en route to a near triple-double night.
Geddes unofficially finished with a game-high 27 points including knocking down the only 3-pointers on either side (six total), five assists, nine rebounds, seven steals and a pair of blocks in the win.
“It’s no secret [that] Cassidy Geddes makes a lot of things happen for us, and we’re starting to see box-and-one’s, triangle-and-two’s on her. So, we’re learning to adjust to that,” said White after the slow start on offense. “We’re really trying to work on basic basketball; inside out, ball reversal. Those kind of things, and some other kids are learning to step up. We missed some easy shots, but we’re still working on those and getting some more people involved in the offense.
“The thing that you’ll notice tonight, we hit those [Geddes] threes when we got everybody involved in the offense. That’s what we got to talk about. We got to get other people involved to loosen up some things for her to be able to shoot the ball. She takes it off the drive well, but we really like it when we get her a couple kick-outs, ball reversals and get her feet set.”
Read full story in the weekend edition of the O-N-E.