By Rob Kiser
PLEASANT HILL — “Just a nice 40—point win,” Newton girls basketball coach Steve Fisher said with a wry smile after the Lady Indians topped National Trail 65-26 in CCC action to improve to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the CCC.
And in the end, that is exactly what it turned into, but it took a little while to get there.
Newton went almost eight minutes without a field goal in on stretch of the first half and led just 18-13 with little over a minute to play in the opening half.
“We got caught in a problem we have had all year,” Fisher said. “Instead of their first look being to score, the other girls first look is always to Tatum (McBride). And that happened again tonight.”
Understandable, when you have a player with McBride’s talent and scoring ability. But, Trail was focused on McBride from the start, something that has become common.
“I have seen that defense before,” Fisher said. “Remember, I had Matt Witt (when he coached Bethel boys to a state championship). We have told the girls all year, you have to look to score. Just run the offense and the offense will come to Tatum (McBride).”
Newton’s first field goal of the second quarter was on a drive by Macy Flanary with 1:04 remaining in the half.
McBride scored off a steal and Michaela Kirk close the half with a three to make it 25-13.
“Macy (Flanary) has got to drive like that more often,” Fisher said. “I thought the three by Michaela (Kirk) was huge. It put us up 25-13.”
And Fisher felt like the light went on at halftime.
“I think the girls finally understood what we said about looking to score,” he said. “At least, I hope so. It looked like it in the third quarter.”
Anna Wolfe scored eight points in the quarter and McBride added seven.
And after holding National Trail without a field goal the last six minutes of the first half, Newton allowed the Blazers just one in the third quarter — outscoring them 23-3 to open a 48-16 lead. That completed a 30-3 run.
“I thought we just played really solid defense in the third quarter,” Fisher said. “We didn’t do any trapping. I think when we trap sometimes we get disconnected. That was just straight 1-2-2 from the school to the north (Covington, where Fisher was a longtime boys coach).”
The Indians coasted to the victory from there.
In the opening quarter, both teams started slow — with neither team scoring until a field goal by Trail’s Makena Laird with 5:05 remaining in the quarter.
But, Mallory Dunlevy hit four goals to spark Newton to a 14-5 lead by the quarter’s end.
“Mallory (Dunlevy) had a great first quarter,” Fisher said. “But, then we had a tough second quarter until the end.”
McBride and Dunlevy led a balanced Newton attack with 14 points each.
Flanary and Brooke Deeter scored nine, Wolfe had eight and Michaela Kirk added seven.
Laird scored eight for Trail and Davlyn Werner added seven.
Newton will be back in action Thursday, hosting Twin Valley South — and Fisher would be just fine with another one of those 40 point wins.
National Trail (26)
Makena Laird 3-1-8, Evan Byrd 1-1-4, Davlyn Werner 3-0-7, Savanna Abner 1-0-2, Bobbi Grimes 0-0-0, Lexi Benedict 2-0-4, Molly Skinner 0-1-1, Angel Bowers 0-0-0, Kelsey Patrum 0-0-0, Caitlin Gilland 0-0-0, Hannah Cunningham 0-0-0. Totals: 10-3-26.
Tatum McBride 3-7-14, Macy Flanary 3-3-9, Madison Hildebrand 0-0-0, Anna Wolfe 4-0-8, Mallory Dunlevy 7-0-14, Brooke Deeter 3-2-9, Treanna Lavy 1-0-2, Rachel Kirk 0-0-0, Michaela Kirk 3-0-7, Britney Oburn 1-0-2, Lexi Oburn 0-0-0, Ally Weaver 0-0-0. Totals: 25-12-65.
3-point field goals — National Trail:Laird, Byrd, Werner. Newton: McBride, Deeter, M. Kirk.
Score By Quarters
National Trail 5 13 16 26
Newton 14 25 48 65
Records: Newton 8-4 (5-3).
Reserve score: Newton 31, National Trail 21.