By Josh Brown
BROOKVILLE — After reviewing a loss late in the regular season to Franklin Monroe, Newton girls basketball coach Steve Fisher saw things his players could fix.
Now the Indians have the chance to flip another result from earlier this year.
Tatum McBride and Elizabeth Carroll shot the Indians out to a solid lead from long range in the first half, then Newton’s defense did the rest, shutting down the Jets during a 14-0 run that ended the third quarter and lasted most of the fourth as the fifth-seeded Indians (17-7) routed No. 6 Franklin Monroe 43-27 in the second round of the Division IV sectional tournament Thursday at Brookville High School.
The win avenged a 51-46 loss to the Jets late in the season — and it also gives the Indians a second shot at top-seeded Tri-Village, which defeated No. 12 Catholic Central 58-24 in the early game, in Saturday’s sectional championship game. And on Thursday, it was in going over what happened the first time that helped Newton against Franklin Monroe.
“What I saw on the tape was just some things offensively and defensively that we could do,” Fisher said. “And that’s basically what we did tonight. It was probably more helpful to us, we made more adjustments, defensively than offensively.
“We were more physical defensively. The one goal we had was to come in and play (Corina) Conley more physically. Last time we played, we kind of let her sit on the post. Our goal was to play her physical, and we did that. We played physical inside — and she ended up not scoring in the second half.”
In order to get the lead early, though, Newton used a full-court press to throw off the Jets’ offense, as well. And though Franklin Monroe’s in-your-face half-court defense caused the Indians problems all night, Carroll and McBride each hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points in the first quarter to stake the team out to a 19-12 lead after one.
For the game, Newton hit six 3s, three each for McBride and Carroll. Franklin Monroe, meanwhile, went 0 for the night from long range.
“We came out and pressed their freshman guards to start the game,” Fisher said. “We felt that we could get them a little shook. We thought that if we came out and pressured them, it would rattle them for the rest of the game — and they didn’t make a 3 in the entire game.
“The two main things we tried to do defensively were play physical inside and get ball pressure and full-court pressure on their guards. It’s tournament, and they’re freshman guards.”
Newton’s more experienced guards weren’t immune to turnovers either, though, as Franklin Monroe forced 13 in the first half while committing 11 itself. That helped keep the Indians off the board, at least, but the Jets still struggled to score. A bucket inside by Kinsey Goins cut Newton’s lead to three at 21-18 with 2:30 left in the second quarter, but an offensive rebound and pair of free throws by Anna Wolfe gave the Indians some breathing room — and another 3 by McBride right before halftime gave Newton a 26-18 lead.
Neither team had any luck against each other’s defenses in the third quarter, with only a few free throws denting the scoreboard in the first four minutes as the Jets closed to within 27-20 — and a back-door layup by Chloe Peters at the 2:45 mark was the quarter’s first field goal, cutting Newton’s lead to 27-22.
“I thought we were a little haphazard at times in the third quarter, a little scattered offensively,” Fisher said. “We tried to get something running offensively, we didn’t execute. We didn’t do a lot of good things offensively, but they’re pretty decent on-the-ball defenders, so that kind of hurt us a little bit at times.”
From there, it was all Newton.
Carroll hit a jumper with 40 seconds left in the third for the Indians’ only field goal of the quarter to make the score 29-22 heading into the fourth — and then the Indians shut the Jets out for the first 4:30 of the final quarter and completed a 14-0 run to put it away. A steal and layup by McBride kicked off the quarter, then Wolfe scored inside after another McBride steal to give Newton its biggest lead at 34-22.
That lead only grew, though. A steal and layup by Carroll and a putback by Wolfe blew the lead up to 16, then McBride set up Carroll for another 3 to make the score 41-22 before Audrey Cable finally scored on a putback with 3:23 left in the game to end the run — but the damage was already done, and Newton killed the clock from there.
McBride led all scorers with 16 points and added seven steals and six rebounds, while Carroll added 15 points and four rebounds. Wolfe finished with seven points, Aliya Stine had four points and Macy Flanary had one point and five rebounds.
Audrey Cable led the Jets with seven points, Conley and Peters each had six, Goins added four and Bella Cable and Kennedy Morris each had two.
Now the Indians face the 23-1 Patriots Saturday for the sectional title. Tri-Village finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state in D-IV, as well as defeating Newton 57-47 in head-to-head play.
“We’re right where we wanted to be,” Fisher said. “We wanted the chance to be in a sectional final. We wanted to win 17 games. I’m real proud of these girls. We got beat by 10 at their place (at Tri-Village) earlier this year, but I thought we played really well.”
Giving the Indians one more chance to fix things.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.