New Boston (7-0, 6-0) remained undefeated Thursday with a 52-40 victory over Symmes Valley at home.
Symmes Valley (3-4, 3-3), arguably the most physical team in the SOC I, came in to New Boston looking to hand the Lady Tigers their first loss of the season and tighten up the conference race.
Early on it looked like the Lady Vikings could do just that. On the strength of five points and five rebounds from Brooke Skinner, Symmes Valley outscored New Boston 8-5 in the second quarter to go into halftime down only 23-20.
New Boston recovered in the third quarter, leading by as many as 12 points.
“One of the things we need to do better is rebound and box out,” Symmes Valley coach Lisa Bryant said. “We failed to do that in the second half. However our kids played hard and hanged tough and never gave up.”
Rebounding was a strong point for New Boston on Thursday as the Lady Tigers had three players with at least 10 boards. Senior Alyssa Raines led the way with a game-high 19 points and 25 rebounds.
Missy Buckley scored 17 points with 10 rebounds and Mychael Hamilton added 10 rebounds to compliment her seven points. Mychael Harding scored three points with eight rebounds.
“We’ve got to have contributions from everybody,” New Boston coach Jon Estep said. “The last few games we were able to get some good contributions...”
New Boston’s strongest stretch in the game came in the second half of the third quarter that saw the Lady Tigers go on a 8-3 run with six of those eight points belonging to Raines.
“Alyssa down low opens up a lot for our girls on the perimeter like Missy and the other girls around there,” Estep said. “It’s hard to guard.”
The Lady Vikings found some success in the second quarter but couldn’t find a consistent offensive threat with the exception of Jesse Morris. Morris scored 14 points in the contest, six coming in the final quarter.
The loss is the Lady Vikings’ third in the SOC I this season but Bryant was optimistic that her team isn’t out of the running yet.
“It’s still tight,” Bryant said of the league. “I know (New Boston is) undefeated and they’re a good team. ... It’s still a dogfight. We all still have to play each other again. I think when you go to everybody else’s gym that’s when you got to take those wins. New Boston got a good one here tonight.”
For New Boston, only East stands between the Lady Tigers and a perfect first run through SOC I play.
“So far so good,” Estep said. “We talked about getting into the holiday break here without a loss so we’ve accomplished our first goal of the season. We’ve hopefully put pressure on everybody else. We know it’s going to be a battle the rest of the season.”
New Boston hosts West Union at 1:30 p.m. Saturday while Symmes Valley hosts Chesapeake on Dec. 28.
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at email@example.com
Symmes Valley 12 8 9 11 — 40
New Boston 18 5 16 13 — 52
Symmes Valley — Nance 2 0 4, Skinner 3 2 8, Wall 0 3 3, Morris 7 0 14, Hayes 1 1 3, Corn 2 0 4, Humphrey 1 2 4, Bloomfield 1 0 2. Totals 17 8 40.
New Boston — Harding 1 1 3, Lykins 2 0 4, S. Buckley 1 0 2, M. Buckley 5 5 17, Hamilton 3 0 7, Raines 9 1 19. Totals 21 7 52.
3-pointers — Symmes Valley none; New Boston 3 (M. Buckley 2, Hamilton)
Records — Symmes Valley 3-4 (3-3): New Boston 7-0 (6-0)