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Local Sports

Cardinal girls rally past Eagles

Newton High junior Meg Callaghan puts up a shot over Pella Christian’s Allison Van Gorp (43) in the teams’ first game in January at Newton. Callaghan scored 23 points and had 12 rebounds in leading the Cardinals to a come-from-behind 58-51 win Tuesday at Pella Christian.
Newton High junior Meg Callaghan puts up a shot over Pella Christian’s Allison Van Gorp (43) in the teams’ first game in January at Newton. Callaghan scored 23 points and had 12 rebounds in leading the Cardinals to a come-from-behind 58-51 win Tuesday at Pella Christian.

PELLA — A transition basket by junior Meg Callaghan with just less than four minutes to play gave Newton High’s Cardinal girls their first lead of Tuesday’s game, 46-45.

The Cardinals had a slow start and trailed host Pella Christian’s Eagles by as many as 13 points in the first half. They chipped away at a 24-15 halftime lead to post a come-from-behind 58-51 win.

“Our defense kept us in the game, trailing by nine at the half,” Newton head coach Eric Vander Velden said. “We came out aggressively in the second half.”

Newton swept the Little Hawkeye Conference two-game series with PC this season. The Cardinals improved to 4-9 in LHC play and 7-13 overall.

“It was a good team victory overall with only giving up 10 points to their main post player,” Vander Velden said.

Callaghan recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. She also had three steals in the game.

It was 2-2 then 15-2 with the Eagles soaring to the lead. They had the Cardinals looking at a 15-4 deficit at the end of the period.

Junior Victoria Reynolds fired in a 3-pointer to open the second period. The Cardinals trailed 22-9 midway through the quarter.

Callaghan had five straight points for Newton to trim the gap to 22-13 at the 1:30 mark. It was 24-15 at the break.

“Our first half was similar to Monday night’s game. We struggled offensively, missing several shots in the paint. PC came out strong and hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter,” Vander Velden said.

Newton went to a high-low post game in the second half with Callaghan and senior Mackenzie Baker. It was effective as the Cardinals outscored the Eagles 21-14 and were down 38-36 after three quarters of play.

“We got some steals and converted them into points,” Vander Velden said. “We had some players step up and make some needed shots, including Mackenzie from mid-range.”

Newton had tied the game twice in the third quarter but couldn’t take the lead. Junior Chassidy Henwood’s steal and layup tied the game at 40-all in the fourth period.

Pella Christian fired in five straight. Baker’s basket with 4:39 left made it 45-42.

Henwood sank two free throws as Pella Christian’s Allison Van Gorp had to leave the game with four fouls. Then came Callaghan scoring on a fastbreak.

Newton used an 11-0 run to get to a 51-45 lead with less than two minutes left in the game. The Cardinals went to work at the free-throw line in the final four minutes to secure the win.

The Cardinals cashed in on 12-of-20 attempts at the line while the Eagles (2-18, 1-12 LHC) went 3-of-8. Henwood was 6-of-10 at the line as she scored 12 points. She dished out eight assists, made eight steals and had seven rebounds.

Baker added 12 points. Reynolds, who had two 3-pointers, finished with eight points.

Aurora Nehring had the first basket of the game for Newton for her only two points. Jerrica McGuire had one point, pulled down five rebounds and had three assists.

Pella Christian got 16 points from Chloe Morgan, who had three 3-pointers. Van Gorp scored 10 points.

Newton concludes the regular season with a Little Hawkeye Conference home game on Friday against Indianola. The varsity game tips off at 6:15 p.m. on NHS’s Senior Night.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535
or jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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