So far it’s New Boston 2, SOC I 0.
The Lady Tigers improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the SOC I with a 51-33 victory over Green in Franklin Furnace on Thursday.
Green came out strong to begin the game with Ali Suttles hitting a 3-pointer on the Lady Cats opening possession. A pair of free throws by Lauren Jones gave Green an early 5-3 lead. Green didn’t trail until New Boston’s Alyssa Raines hit a shot to make the score 9-7 and the Lady Tigers never looked back.
Though things did turn around, the Lady Tigers had the lead for only seconds in the first quarter as Green dominated the boards early on.
“We knew coming into tonight that they had a couple really good players on their team,” New Boston coach Jon Estep said. “We were just focused on a certain kind of defense. We had to rebound as a team.”
Once the rebounding disparity began to even out, New Boston’s offense established itself.
The final rebounding margin was Green 43, New Boston 41. Raines, who scored six points, led all rebounders with 17 boards. Green’s Carlee Pollard and Adrianne Blankenship each had nine rebounds.
The Lady Tigers strongest quarter was the third. Senior Missy Buckley scored 11 of New Boston’s 18 third quarter points, hitting 3’s on three consecutive possessions to help the Lady Tigers pull away. Buckley scored 23 points to lead all scorers. Mychael Harding added 10 points for the Lady Tigers.
“That’s just the type of dangerous shooter she is,” Estep said of Buckley. “Once she hits one she can get hot and she did.”
On defense, the Lady Tigers plan worked to near perfection as no Lady Cat scored in double figures. Jones led Green with nine points and seven rebounds. Blankenship, one of the better offensive players in the SOC I, was held to eight points.
“In the second half we did a better job of keeping them off the boards,” Estep said. “I think the biggest difference tonight was the defensive pressure we were able to put on Blankenship to keep her from scoring as much as she has in the past. That was one of our focuses all day yesterday (in practice). Christian Lykins did an outstanding job of playing on her for us.”
The defensive pressure caused problems for Green.
“I think in the second half what we were trying to do offensively really didn’t work,” Green coach Bucky Bridges said. “Instead of making adjustments we kind of got frusrated and we let the frustration take over for a while... We never did really run our offense right the whole night...”
The SOC I picture should begin to take shape next week as New Boston hosts Eastern on Monday and then faces Notre Dame, Western and Symmes Valley in its following three games.
“We’re the three-time defending champs and we know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Estep said. “We have to continue to come out and play as hard as we have the first three games.”
Green travels to Western on Monday.
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at email@example.com
Green 7 9 8 9 — 33
New Boston 11 14 18 8 — 51
Green — Suttles 1 0 3, Johnson 2 0 4, Jones 2 5 9, Timberman 1 1 3, Blankenship 1 6 8, Pollard 2 0 4, McCloud 1 0 2. Totals 10 12 33.
New Boston — M. Buckley 5 9 23, M. Hamilton 2 1 5, Raines 2 2 6, M. Harding 4 2 10, Lykins 1 1 3, S. Buckley 2 0 4. Totals 16 15 51.
3-pointers — Green 1 (Suttles); New Boston 4 (M. Buckley 4)
Record — Green 0-2 (0-1); New Boston 3-0 (2-0)