By Rob Kiser
BROOKVILLE — It was exactly what you would expect with the matchup of the fourth seed Troy Christian and fifth seed Newton in a Brookville Divison IV girls basketball second-round game.
It was back-and-forth — with several momentum swings — but Newton made the plays down the stretch to come away with a 47-42 victory.
Newton, 17-6, advances to play top seed Tri-Village for a sectional title at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We just felt like Troy Christian hadn’t played the same competition we had,” Newton coach Steve Fisher had. “We felt like if we could get the game to the fourth quarter, that was going to work to our advantage.”
Tony Ferraro’s Troy Christian squad finished an impressive season at 21-3.
“We had a great season,” Ferraro said. “My three seniors all provided great leadership for the team. But, we have a lot of talent coming back, so I am excited about next year. Sometimes, you just have to give the other team credit.”
After Troy Christian’s Sarah Earhart scored with 1:40 to go to get the Eagles within 43-42, Fisher did what any good coach would do — put the ball in the hands of Tatum McBride.
And McBride showed why she is considered one of the top D-IV guards in the area.
She hit one of two free throws with 1:13 to go to make it 44-42.
Then, Treanna Lavy knocked the ball loose from Troy Christian, with Michaela Kirk coming up with the ball. McBride was fouled again with 33.2 seconds to go and made both to make it 46-42 and Anna Wolfe added a free throw to make it 47-42.
“There is no question their point guard (Tatum McBride) is a good player,” Ferraro said. “She went to the line a lot tonight and she doesn’t miss many.”
In fact, after hitting three of eight free throws in the first half, McBride immediately went to the charity stripe after coming out of the locker room to warmup — and made seven of nine after the break.
“I think I just relaxed a little bit,” McBride.
And being at the line with the game on the line didn’t faze the senior — who had another big game with 29 points.
“I am always asking coach (Steve Fisher) to push me in practice,” McBride said about her clutch shooting. “I think that helps.”
Both teams struggled with foul situations throughout the game.
Mallory Dunlevy picked up three for Newton in the first half and ended up fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“She has really been a key player for us down the stretch inside,” Fisher said.
At the same time, Kenley Blake picked up two quick fouls for Troy Christian and got her third midway through the second quarter, while Cara Salazar picked up her fourth in the third quarter.
That helped Newton take a 20-15 halftime lead, although the size of the 6-2 Earhart, 6-foot Kathryn Lee and 5-10 Salazar led to a number of the Indians shots being blocked.
“We were able to bother them with our pressure early,” Fisher said. “There was just no question their size was going to be a problem. We worked all week on ball fakes to get them off their feet — then we didn’t do it. But, we did enough to get the two fouls on Blake.”
But, the Eagles took control, outscoring Newton 17-8 in the third quarter to take a 32-28 lead.
Lee had seven points in the quarter, while Blake and Lauryn Lavy had four each.
A Lee basket early in the fourth quarter made it 34-28, before Newton rallied.
“We had trouble getting anything to fall (after that),” Ferraro said. “We had good shots, we just couldn’t get them to fall.”
Brooke Deeter had four points in the fourth quarter and Anna Wolfe hit three of four free throws to compliment McBride.
“I thought Anna Wolfe played well tonight,” Fisher said. “And I thought Brooke Deeter had a couple huge baskets for us there in fourth quarter. I think she played better once we moved her into the post.”
Wolfe added nine points and seven rebounds to the Indians cause, while Deeter scored seven points.
Lee had a double-double for Troy Christian with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Lavy had 11 points and six rebounds, Morgan Taylor scored eight points and Blake also pulled down six rebounds.
Newton was 16 of 45 from the floor for 36 percent and 14 of 24 from the line for 58 percent.
Troy Christian was 15 of 38 from the floor for 39 percent and 11 of 17 from the line for 65 percent.
Troy Christian won the battle of the boards 35-19, but had 21 turnovers to Newton’s 13.
Now, Newton looks to play the upset role against Tri-Village — after a battle to the finish Wednesday night.
Troy Christian (42)
Lenley Blake 2-1-5, Kathryn Lee 5-1-11, Morgan Taylor 1-6-8, Sarah Earhart 1-0-2, Cara Salazar 1-2-5, Lauryn Lavy 5-1-11, Jalyn Forrer 0-0-0, Cait Echols 0-0-0. Totals: 15-11-42.
Tatum McBride 9-10-29, Brooke Deeter 3-1-7, Michaela Kirk 0-0-0, Anna Wolfe 3-3-9, Mallory Dunlevy 0-0-0, Treanna Lavy 1-0-2, Madison Hildebrand 0-0-0, Britney Oburn 0-0-0. Totals: 16-14-47.
3-point field goals — Troy Christian: Salazar. Newton: McBride.
Score By Quarters
Troy Christian 4 15 32 42
Newton 7 20 28 47
Records: Troy Christian 21-3, Newton 17-6.