New London drops shootout game to Columbus on Saturday night
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON — The New London girls ran in to a tough matchup on Saturday night in their SEISC shootout matchup with Columbus.
The speedy Wildcats used fastbreak points in the second half to run away from the young Tigers late, eventually taking a big 47-27 win for the South.
The game was close throughout the first half. New London stayed in the game with solid defense that slowed down Columbus senior guards Shania Boyd and Bailey Stroud, and an eight-point half from freshman Sydni Coleman was enough to keep the game tight. The Wildcats held a 22-20 lead at halftime.
The Columbus defense tightened up in the third quarter as the Wildcats outscored the Tigers, 7-2, to take a 29-22 lead into the fourth.
In the final quarter, the Columbus stars exploded. Boyd and Stroud found their grove with a handful of run-out layups and the Wildcats pulled away with a 20-point victory.
The Wildcat stars finished with 18 of Columbus’ 25 second-half points to lead the team to victory.
“We wanted to prove tonight that we could hang with a good team,” New London coach Duane Blint said after the game. “Columbus has beaten some good teams (and) they’ve got two really good guards.”
Blint said that the youth of his team showed in the second half. The Tigers continue to fill out holes in their lineup with freshmen after their two starting posts both got hurt earlier this season.
“At one point we had four freshmen on the floor,” Blint said. “The freshman are learning (and) growing up quickly. It’s only going to help us in years to come, but right now they are still in the learning phase.”
Boyd led all scorers with 19 points, 12 of which came in the second half. Stroud had 11 points and four assists.
Maki Mendenhall flirted with a double-double and finished with eight points and eight rebounds. Courtney Zaehringer had three points and three steals. Angie Byas scored two points and co-led the team with eight rebounds, and the duo of Jayden Poehler and Jenessa Carpenter finished with two points apiece.
Coleman stayed at eight points to lead New London in the loss. Alisha Boles scored seven points and pulled down five rebounds.
Camryn Blint had four points for the Tigers. Madysen Wahls scored three points and led the team with nine assists. Addy Kellen scored three points and Alexa Wenger rounded out the scorers with two points and five rebounds.
The Wildcats moved to 11-9 on the year and will be at Tipton today (Mon.) for a game starting at 7:30 p.m.
New London fell to 9-11 with the loss. They will have a few days to prepare for the regional tournament first round at Holy Trinity Catholic on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.