NEW BOSTON — While the New Boston Lady Tigers definitely don’t want to burn those Thanksgiving Day turkeys, the game film from Tuesday night’s non-league tilt against Rock Hill will likely be a different story.
That’s because the Lady Tigers trailed from opening tip to final buzzer, and struggled on both ends of the floor, en route to suffering a disappointing 53-35 loss to the visiting Rock Hill Redwomen inside Homer Pellegrinon Memorial Gymnasium.
Simply put, what started on the defensive end extended its way to the offensive side — and impacted free throws to the point that the Lady Tigers only made half (16) of their 31 attempts.
While it was the season opener for Rock Hill, the Lady Tigers handled Felicity-Franklin 63-46 in the Manchester Tipoff Classic in their lidlifter — but could never get the roar restored against the Redwomen.
That was frustrating for New Boston coach Kayla Wiley, who believed her Tigers were quite capable of scaling Rock Hill — especially at home.
“I thought it was mostly more of our defense. Your defense leads to your offense. We didn’t start off with much energy, and just never really got into it all game. By the end of the game, we’re losing to a team by 15 to 20 points that I thought we were very capable of competing with,” said Wiley. “We had a lot of trouble focusing tonight. We settled on shooting a lot more outside shots and didn’t get in there and rebound. Instead of doing the little things and the easy things, we did the hard things and tried to do things we can’t do.”
New Boston made life hard on itself by missing shots from either the outside or in close, turning the ball over with poor passes, getting outrebounded, and finally getting beat back down the floor for defense.
The Redwomen racked up several steals, and turned a handful of those into layups.
“We were supposed to be aggressive and up in their face and be running the ball on them, but instead they were running the ball on us and we weren’t getting back in transition defense. Even though we’ve worked on it,” said Wiley.
Meanwhile, Rock Hill had balanced scoring and even playmaking — as Savannah Cade collected a team-high dozen points on four field goals and 2-of-2 third-quarter free throws.
Five players — Lucy Simpson, Makayla Scott, Savannah McGraw, Makenzie Hanshaw and Riley Morris — posted three field goals apiece, as Simpson scored eight points including a pair of second-stanza foul shots while Scott sank 1-of-3 in the second.
Aleigha Matney scored six points as well — with two second-quarter field goals and a pair of fourth-quarter free throws.
Rock Hill held a decisive 22-9 advantage in total field goals, as the Tigers tallied just 14 second-half points — and only three in the entire third quarter.
New Boston had whittled away a 28-15 Redwomen advantage with a minute and seven seconds remaining in the opening half — by scoring the final six points of the second quarter in a matter of 22 seconds.
That included the Tigers’ only three — by Kenzie Whitley with 35 seconds left to make it 28-18.
But after Whitley scored off a Taylen Hickman assist only a minute and 12 seconds into the third frame for a 28-23 deficit, the Tigers didn’t score again — until almost five minutes later when Whitley split a pair of free throws.
In between, the Redwomen went off for all 11 of their third-period points, pushing the lead to 39-24.
Cade connected on a three-pointer at the five-and-a-half minute mark to answer Whitley’s half-opening basket, and the Tigers never got closer from there.
In the fourth quarter, Rock Hill held three 19-point advantages — 43-24, 45-26 and 47-28 — before a pair of 21-point cushions (49-28 and 53-32) gave the Redwomen their largest lead.
Cade’s final points on a rebound putback made it 49-28 with 3:54 to go, as Matney made her freebies with 36-and-a-half-seconds left to make it 53-32.
While Rock Hill had 19 team fouls compared to 13 for New Boston, it didn’t matter, as the Tigers missed 14 of 27 free throws over the final three quarters.
Lexus Oiler amounted a game-high 17 points to pace the Lady Tigers, scoring two field goals apiece in the first and fourth frames — and going 9-of-15 from the foul line in between.
Whitley wound up with eight, while Sammy Oiler and Dylan O’Rourke had a field goal and two foul shots apiece.
Hickman and Cadence Williams split second-quarter foul shots each, as the Tigers kept pace in the opening half by going 10-of-16 at the stripe — including Lexus Oiler’s 7-of-9.
The Lady Tigers got behind the eight-ball early, thanks to Cade ‘s three-ball just 22 seconds in.
Morris’ basket a minute later made it 5-0, as buckets by Whitney and Oiler within the next minute got the Lady Tigers as close as they would be the entire night.
Morris and Cade combined to score again for a 9-4 lead at the three-and-a-half-minute mark, as the Tigers were within four three times (9-5, 11-7 and 13-9) — before two free throws from Oiler and Williams’ one made it 13-12.
However, a 13-3 run over a five-minute second-quarter span pushed the Redwomen margin to its largest of the opening half.
“Hopefully, we learn from this loss and move on and get better,” said Wiley.
The Lady Tigers have an opportunity to do that on Monday — when they tip off Southern Ohio Conference Division I action at Symmes Valley.
* * *
Rock Hill 13 15 11 14 — 53
New Boston 9 12 3 11 — 35
ROCK HILL 53 (1-0)
Savannah McGraw 3 0-0 6, Makayla Scott 3 1-3 7, Kelie Adams 0 0-0 0, Lucy Simpson 3 2-2 8, Tru Pancake 0 0-0 0, Riley Morris 3 0-0 6, Makenzie Hanshaw 3 0-0 6, Savannah Cade 4 2-2 12, Aleigha Matney 2 2-2 6, Autumn Porter 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 22 7-9 53; Three-point goals: 2 (Savannah Cade 2)
NEW BOSTON 35 (1-1)
Lexus Oiler 4 9-15 17, Cadence Williams 0 1-2 1, Shelby Easter 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Whitley 3 1-2 8, Dylan O’Rourke 1 2-2 4, Taylen Hickman 0 1-6 1, Sammy Oiler 1 2-4 4; TOTALS 9 16-31 35; Three-point goals: 1 (Kenzie Whitley 1)
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved