Chalking up their second victory in Little Hawkeye Conference play, Newton High’s Cardinal girls made the home crowd happy Tuesday night. The Cardinals trailed only once against visiting Norwalk in a 56-42 win.
“Trying to separate ourselves from several other teams in the conference is really motivating the kids,” Newton head coach Brandon Sharp said. “We came off the win at Knoxville Saturday with confidence as we get back into conference play.”
Newton and Norwalk were both 1-4 in LHC play going into Tuesday’s game with Pella Christian at 1-3 and Oskaloosa at 0-5. The Cardinals moved to 2-4 and improved to 5-6 overall with the victory.
The Cardinals head to Pella on Friday to play Class 2A eighth-ranked Pella Christian, which lost 41-33 to Class 4A No. 9 Dallas Center-Grimes on Tuesday.
“I’m looking forward to see how we come out Friday night against Pella Christian, a team I believe is in the same boat as we are in the conference,” Sharp said. “We’re seeing a lot of good things happing on the court for our team right now, and we have some momentum.”
Randi Walters got things going for Newton’s offense with a 3-pointer to open the game. Norwalk had back-to-back baskets to go up 4-3 — the only time Newton trailed — then Walters drained another trey.
Ellie Horn, who followed up a career-high 19-point performance on Saturday with 15 points Tuesday night, tossed in her first basket of the night. Taylor Shipley’s basket made it 10-4. Up 10-8 as the clock wound down in the first quarter, Walters scored on a drive right to the basket.
A 3-pointer and a field goal by Gianna Bellizzi pulled Norwalk even, 13-13, by the 6:08 mark of the second period. Horn answered with a quick jumper and a free throw. On the second charity attempt by Horn, Newton’s Ryanne Rausch pulled the rebound, was fouled and downed two free throws.
Newton was up by five but Bellizzi hit another three to cut the margin to two points. Newton owned the final two minutes of the first half reeling off 10 unanswered points.
Rausch had seven of those including a three-point play with 24 seconds on the clock. Horn had a putback basket and Walters hit a free throw to help give Newton a 28-16 lead at the break.
“Our defense got us started. It took us awhile to get into communicating like we needed to,” Sharp said. “Defensively, we locked down and communicated well, especially in the second and third quarters. We got stops, played offense and got great shots. It was a nice pattern.”
The Cardinals downed the first two baskets of the third quarter. They hit three 3-pointers in the period, which they rolled on a 17-11 surge. Courtney Jacobsen, Walters and Rausch dialed up from long distance.
Rausch’s was a buzzer-beater to lift Newton to a 45-27 lead going into the fourth. Marcelina Marvelli followed suit to begin the final eight minutes to push it to 48-27. With 4:30 remaining the game, a jump shot by Horn had Newton’s lead to 52-29.
Rausch recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds plus had two assists. Walters finished with 14 points, hitting three of the team’s six 3-point field goals. Newton was 8-of-11 at the line.
Taylor Shipley and Horn each pulled down seven rebounds while Walters and Shipley dished out four assists apiece. Newton had a 41-27 rebounding edge over Norwalk.
Miranda Hughes led the Warriors with 13 points. The Warriors cashed in on 16-of-25 free throw attempts.
Newton won the junior varsity game 40-25 after leading 15-11 at halftime. Abbie Barr and Emily Valtman each had 10 points. Peyton Maher added eight points while Mackenzie Baker and Harlie Durr each had four points.
Lakin Jenkins and Rachel Rhoads had two points apiece. Rhoads went down with a knee injury in the first half and did not return to the game.
Newton’s junior varsity and varsity teams play at Pella Christian starting at 4:45 p.m. Friday.
Newton (FG/3-pt): Rausch 3/1-6-5-15, Forsyth 0-0-2-0, Walters 2/3-1-2-14, Marvelli 0/1-0-1-3, Shipley 2-0-2-4, Jacobsen 1/1-0-2-5, Horn 7-1-2-15, Bestell 0-0-5-0. TOTALS: 15/3-8-21-56.
Norwalk (FG/3-pt): Origer 0-0-2-0, Campbell 0/1-6-3-9, Hughes 3/1-4-4-13, Laire 0-2-4-2, Bellizzi 1/2-0-0-8, LeQuatte 2-4-1-8, Westvold 1-0-1-2. TOTALS: 7/4-16-15-42.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or email@example.com