Norwalk's Lady Warriors (6-8) took down the Newton Cardinals (4-8) 36-27 on Friday Night in what was the epitome of a sloppy game. A slew of turnovers by both teams turned it into a game of who can score better out on the break. Norwalk won that battle, and ultimately won the war.
Turning the ball over at such an alarming rate was clearly frustrating for the Cardinal players and coaches. A very emotional Newton coach Brandon Sharp expressed that frustration afterwards.
"We ended the night with 21 turnovers. We don't capitalize." Sharp continued. "You know we had a chance it was really a four point game the whole way. We're not shooting the free throw very well but the biggest thing was taking care of the ball".
Sharp's observations definitely told the story. This was about as sloppy basketball as one could imagine. The first three and a half minutes went by without a point scored.
The Warriors beagn to settle down starting in the second, when they were able to convert some baskets in transition and get to the foul line.
Down 9-2 with the press giving them an incredible amount of trouble, it began to look bleak for the Cardinals. The calls tightened the game, however. Free throws pulled Newton to within two points one minute before the halftime buzzer was to sound.
Careless fouls gave way to six points from the foul line in that final minute, and Norwalk led 18-10 at the break.
A much more composed set of Cardinals took the floor to start the thrid quarter. Good passes into space by senior Kaylie Rhoads quickly recouped the six points lost before the half and it was a two point game once again. The girls went back and forth for several minutes until a big three by Norwalk gave them a six point edge going to the final quarter.
It stayed a back and forth game for most of the fourth. Kristin Samson pocketed her first three pointer of the year to pull back within three with just four minutes left. That prompted Norwalk to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout Newton switched to a full court press that had little to no effect. The girls had to be tired from trying to break the Warriors’ constant pressure and it showed. It was missed free throws in the last two minutes, though, that ultimately gave Norwalk the victory.
Despite the loss, tough as it was, Sharp took away some positives from the performance.
“We always play extremely hard. We made some good plays. It was great to see Kristen Samson make her first three of the year. There were a lot of positives.”
The Caridnals are headed to Pella Christian this Tuesday.