By Rob Kiser
PLEASANT HILL — Newton girls basketball coach Steve Fisher is looking for some consistency as the Lady Indians head towards tournament team.
Bradford coach Patrick McKee couldn’t say enough about his team’s effort Thursday night.
In the end, Newton was able to pull away for a 47-30 win over Bradford in CCC action.
Newton improved to 13-6 overall and 7-4 in the CCC, while Bradford is 7-12 overall and 4-7 in the CCC.
“It is a struggle every time out,” Fisher said. “I know the final score doesn’t reflect that. But, we lost Macy Flanary a couple weeks ago and we are struggling to score — and rebounding. Those are my two big concerns right now.”
McKee couldn’t fault his team’s effort.
“We are pretty banged up,” he said. “At times, we were playing four post players tonight. The kids just keep playing hard. That’s all you can ask for.”
With Tatum McBride scoring 10 of her 25 points in the first quarter, Newton opened a 12-4 lead.
“That girl (Tatum McBride) is so impressive,” McKee said. “She was already really good and she has improved tremendously from last year. With a player like that, you can only hope to slow them down some. You are not going to stop them.”
Bradford battled back in the second quarter.
Skipp Miller had seven points in the quarter and when she scored with 23 seconds to go in the half, Bradford was within 21-15 at the break.
But, McBride stepped up at critical moment in the third quarter.
Bradford was still within 28-19 with 5:27 to go in the quarter.
First McBride split the Bradford defense for a layup — then 10 seconds later, after a steal — she buried a three to make it 33-19 and Bradford could never get back within single digits.
“Tatum (McBride) did a nice job tonight,” Fisher said. “Those were some big shots. I thought she did a better job of getting to the basket tonight. We changed our press in the second half and I think that helped.
“We weren’t necessarily getting steals. But, we were getting them out of rhythm or getting them to make bad passes. The kind of things we needed to do to get stops.”
Mallory Dunlevy added nine points to the Indians cause.
“And we had some other girls hit shots,” Fisher said. “Treanna Lavy and Michaela Kirk. They may have not scored a lot, but they hits shots when we needed them.”
Miller continued an outstanding freshman season with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Bianca Keener added eight points and Emma Canan scored six.
“The thing about tonight is we were getting the shots we wanted,” McKee said. “We didn’t make them all, but those are things you can fix in the gym, so that is a positive.”
Bradford will play at Lehman Catholic Tuesday, while Newton goes to Marion Local Saturday.
“Marion Local’s record is not that good,” Fisher said. “But, look who they play. It will be a tough game. I wanted a challenge. We have three games to get things fixed before the tournament.”
After surviving a battle with a scrappy Bradford team.
Chelsea Gill 1-0-2, Emma Canan 3-0-6, Skipp Miller 3-4-10, Brooke Fair 0-0-0, Bianca Keener 4-0-8, Hannah Fout 0-0-0, Ivee Brubaker 1-0-2, Cassi Mead 1-0-2. Totals: 13-4-30.
Tatum McBride 10-2-25, Brooke Deeter 1-2-4, Michaela Kirk 1-0-3, Anna Wolfe 0-0-0, Mallory Dunlevy 3-3-9, Madison Hildebrand 1-0-2, Treanna Lavy 1-0-2, Britney Oburn 1-0-2, Rachel Kirk 0-0-0, Ally Weaver 0-0-0, Lexi Oburn 0-0-0. Totals: 18-7-47.
3-point field goals— Newton: McBride (3), Kirk.
Score By Quarters
Bradford 4 15 26 30
Newton 12 21 39 47
Records: Bradford 7-12 (4-7), Newton 13-6 (7-4).
Reserve score: Newton 12, Bradford 4 (2 quarters).