NEWTON — It’s always a great match-up when the Newton-Conover and Hickory varsity girls basketball teams encounter one another.
It has been nearly two years since these two butted heads with the Lady Red Tornadoes collecting a 44-41 win on Dec. 13, 2019.
Although the Lady Red Devils (2-0) earned the 56-46 victory on its home court on Tuesday night, the scoreboard does not tell the whole story.
Newton-Conover had to claw its way back from a double-digit deficit to obtain the outcome.
There was a lack of shooting ability from the perimeter for the Lady Red Devils throughout. However, its saving grace was its interior play led by senior center Emma Fox.
Fox unofficially finished with nine points, a game-high 21 rebounds (seven offensive boards), a pair of assists, a steal and six blocks.
Both programs are quite young this season, and that was definitely apparent for Hickory. Nevertheless, it showed promise as the future of Lady Red Tornado basketball looks bright.
“We got back into our offense,” said Newton-Conover head coach Sylvia White about the second half turnaround. “They took us out of our gameplan. We hadn’t seen pressure like that, we don’t have pressure against ourselves like that...So they took us out of our game, but the biggest thing (in) the turnaround is the kids didn’t quit. Down 10 [in the third quarter], we talked about what we needed to do there tonight to win. We needed to rebound; even if we didn’t stop the shot, we needed to get a hand on every shot, and we needed to take care of the basketball.
“We did a pretty good job almost all night long of rebounding. I had two freshmen and another kid that’s been in our program just one year that played a lot of minutes. So, we’re just young. [Hickory’s] young too. Coach [Barbara] Helms does an amazing job. She’s an excellent coach, and I think to take anything away from that, we’d be all crazy.”
(Read full story in the Thursday edition of the O-N-E)