MCDERMOTT — The New Boston Tigers fell to the Western Pike Lady Indians Thursday night in a Division III Sectional Semifinal match by a score of 73-60. Western clinches the Sectional Championship and moves on to face the number seeded Waterford Wildcats in the next round.
Early in the game the Tigers were forcing turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. However, offensively they were having a tough time finding their own shots and sometimes were forcing shots. Western was struggling with turnovers but was winning the war in the paint pitting Mallorie Williams and other defenders against Ali Hamilton.
Western got off to a 5-0 start in the second quarter. The Lady Indians started finding open shots, while Hamilton started scoring in the second. She ended leading all scorers with 27 and added 5 blocked shots. While Western couldn’t limit Hamilton for long, they limited point guard Mariah Buckley to just six points. They went in at the half up 28-22.
Kaylee Stone managed to cut the game to single digits, 43-34, with a two to end the third quarter. New Boston battled throughout the fourth quarter, and played the foul game from the four minute mark onward in an effort to cut the lead. The Lady Indians would sink many of their foul shouts, though, ending the game with a 30 point fourth quarter and a final of 73-60.
“We’ve been focusing on mental preparation,” said Tiffany Carroll. “This was the third time we’ve played New Boston this year. We beat them the first two times but they played good games and we knew they were capable of beating us. We knew the game was going to be physical and they were going to bring their best so I’m really proud of our kids closing it out.”
“Despite turnovers in the first half, I told the girls the reason we were leading was because of good defense and crashing the boards. Mallorie Williams had 15 boards on the night, she’s a senior and she did not want the season to be over. She came in with the mindset that she wanted every rebound and loose ball that came her way. Her and Erin Brewster really stepped up their game tonight. Mallorie didn’t rest the entire game, she matched up against Hamilton who is just a great athlete, and she had 19 points for us. We also managed to take away Mariah Buckley most of the night. Freshman Sylvia Evans came off the bench and just guarded her really well. She’s a great on ball defender.”
“For us, this is our second sectional win in a row. Anytime you cut the nets down is a great feeling. It means a lot. I love to be able to send the seniors off on a good note. But, when you win consecutive sectional titles it’s time to take the next step. Unfortunately for us we are going to be playing Waterford, the team that knocked us out of the tournament last year. It’s no secret that it’s going to be a tough matchup. But we are going to go into it with confidence and give them our best shot.”
Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the New Boston Tigers. They graduate two seniors, Cammy Oiler and Eden Howard, but maintain the rest of their team including 6’0 sophomore Ali Hamilton and Mariah Buckley.
“We really struggled taking care of the basketball tonight,” said Tiger Head Coach Kayla Wiley. “I told them three main things: we have to make our foul shots, take care of the ball and rebound. We only did one of the things well tonight, so we lost. We are young and it showed tonight.”
“We lose two valuable players, Cammy and Eden, both are leaders and tremendous leaders and athletes. They are high character girls and I’m really glad to be able to of coached them this year.”
“They had a really good defense against of us tonight, they are very well coached and Buckley struggled with an illness tonight as well. She’s trying to get healthy and ready to go for next season. I’m proud of these girls from where they were last year to now. They’ve worked hard. There’s been plenty of sweat, blood and tears. I’m proud of the effort they’ve given, the discipline they’ve had, and allowing me to yell at them all year.”
Western 14 14 15 30 — 73
New Boston 11 11 12 26 — 60
Western: Shanks 23, Williams 19, Evans 12, Brewster 11, Tong 4, Whitt 2, Shepard 2
New Boston: Hamilton 27, Oiler 12, Day 8, Stone 7, Buckley 6
Reach Derrick Parker at email@example.com or on twitter @DC__Parker