ANSONIA – Despite Brooke Neal making seven 3-pointers and scoring 27 points, the Ansonia Tigers came up short on the scoreboard against the visiting Newton Indians Thursday night by the score of 62-47.
The Lady Indians dashed out to an 8-0 lead on four points each by Tatum McBride and Madison Mollette, causing the Tigers’ head coach Jim Bolin to use a timeout to regroup.
Neal made it look effective coming out by connecting on three straight triples. Add a fielder by Bailey Stammen and Ansonia took the lead 11-8.
McBride and Mollette weren’t finished for Newton as they countered a fourth trey by Neal, and the two teams were locked at 19 each to end the first quarter
“Brooke got off to a really good start tonight, and we needed that,” Bolin said. “She has been shooting the ball really well.”
Neal came out firing in the second quarter with a fifth triple, and that’s when Newton decided to change it up on defense.
“We came out in a zone and didn’t play much defense early on, and I told them (Neal) was a shooter,” Newton coach Neil Hans said. “We didn’t do a good job of locating her, so we went man-to-man, and that got us on track.”
The fast pace and aggressive style of play turned into a foul fest with the Indians getting to the line on five straight possessions as they opened up a 30-26 lead.
Ansonia needed help offensively with Neal getting all the focus, and that came in the form of Bailey Stammen, but it wasn’t enough as Newton took a 36-29 halftime lead.
“Stammen is only a sophomore, and she is starting to come around,” Bolin said.
Newton continued to hound Ansonia after the break and held the Tigers to just five points in the third period while Aliya Stine scored 8-of-15 points for Newton to open up a 51-34 lead.
“Our goal is to wear you down, and our girls are in pretty good shape and they get after you, and it started to affect them,” Hans said.
“Our game is to scrap get turnovers and every loose ball … if we don’t play that way we won’t win games,” Hans added.
“We missed some easy layups and let them get up on us and you can’t do that against a good team. They are so quick and relentless. They just keep coming at you, and we started to get tired,” Bolin said of Newton’s pressure.
In the final stanza Newton forgot about Neal as she fired up her sixth and seventh trey on the night to give her a game-high of 27 points … but it wasn’t enough to overcome a very aggressive Newton team who went on to a 62-47 Cross County Conference win.
Three Lady Indians scored in double digits with McBride and Mollette each scoring 16 points and Stine added 14 in the win.
Mollette was also a beast on the boards, collecting a double-double on the night.
“I told Madison she dominated the boards. She went after everything,” Hans said.
“Mollette is an outstanding player and a jumping jack,” Bolin said. “She never seems to wear down and killed us the boards tonight.”
The Tigers placed two players in double figure with Neal going 27 points and Stammen with 16.
“Neal was athlete of the week and has had five games of 20 points or more already, and I’m really proud of the floor leader she is becoming,” Bolin said.
“We are improving and getting better, and I’m really proud of the kids,” Bolin said. “I told the girls not to hang their heads. Newton has a nice team, and Coach Hans does a really good job with them.”
Ansonia drops to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference and is back in action Saturday traveling to Riverside.
Newton goes to 5-1 on the year and 3-1 in the CCC and will host Bethel on Saturday.
Score by quarters:
ANS … 19 … 10 … 05 … 13 – 47
NEW … 19 …17 … 15 … 11 – 62
ANSONIA (4-3, 2-1)
Brooke Neal 27, Jailyn Thwaits 1, Bailey Stammen 16, Abby Helmke 2, Ashton Bradham 1, Totals 7-9-8/14 – 47
NEWTON (5-1, 3-1)
Tatum McBride 16, Maddie Mollette 16, Elizabeth Carroll 7, Kaylee Kesler 4, Aliya Stine 12, Britney Oburn 4, Mallory Dunlevy 3, Totals 0-22-16/26 – 62
ANS 7 (Neal 7)