HOME COOKING: Red Devils girls, boys basketball take care of rival Maiden on 'Senior Night'; Lady Trojans' Toni Laney ends regular season career at Bost-Matheson Gym on high note with victory over Lake Norman Charter

Lady Red Devils’ senior center Chyna Cornwell (54) played in her final regular season home game on Tuesday, February 11, in a blowout win over rival Maiden, 64-24. (Photo by Brian Hendrix)Lady Red Devils’ senior forward Jahlea Peters (30) collected four points on ‘Senior Night’ against rival Maiden on Tuesday, February 11. (Photo by Brian Hendrix) Lady Trojans’ senior Toni Laney (21) drops 10 points in the home win on Tuesday, February 11. (Photo by Michelle Thompson) Trojans’ senior guard Spencer Ledford (14) scored a team-high 13 points in the ‘Senior Night’ loss to conference leader Lake Norman Charter on Tuesday. (Photo by Michelle Thompson)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

It was the end of an era at Newton-Conover High School on Tuesday night as the Red Devils' varsity girls and boys' basketball teams defended home-court against rival Maiden.

The Lady Red Devils (20-2, 13-0) came into its home match-up with the Lady Blue Devils looking for more blood. It got what it was after as it collected a 64-24 victory and a series sweep.

This contest was bittersweet as seniors Chyna Cornwell, Aaliah Walton, Jahlea Peters, Mackenzie Johnson and Caleigha Schenck played in front of the home crowd for the final time in the regular season.

The Lady Blue Devils kept it close in the first quarter as it trailed 12-6 to close out the frame. Nevertheless, the Lady Red Devils picked up the scoring pace in the second quarter as it finished the half on a 16-6 run led by Cornwell and Walton.

Newton-Conover went into the break with a 28-12 lead. Coming out of the locker room, scoring for the Lady Blue Devils was minute and the Lady Red Devils took advantage of this drought.

The Lady Red Devils – queens of the South Fork 2A Conference – unleashed a game-high 24 points in the third quarter compared to Maiden's five.

Maiden senior guard Cree Bass was the only player to crack double-figures as she garnered 10 points in the loss.

The three-headed monster of Cornwell, Walton and junior forward Grace Loftin dominated the inside-out game. Cornwell obtained a game-high 31 points and 21 rebounds in her final home performance. While, Walton corralled 10 points and Loftin finished with nine.

“My emotions (it being) the last home game were bittersweet,” said Cornwell. “I'm excited for my new journey but just having the experience of being a Lady Red Devil all four years and knowing it's slowly coming to an end began to make me emotional.

“The finish was definitely how I predicted it, I'm so proud of my team and how the season is going so far for us; we aren't done yet which is the scary but fun part. I'm thankful for all the coaches, (as well as the) people who were a big part in my basketball career.”

Freshman point guard Cassidy Geddes followed up with five points while Peters earned four. The Lady Red Devils look to continue its win streak – currently 12 games – on the road in its season finale against East Lincoln on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

As for the boys' team, Newton-Conover guards Mathew Martinez, Keenan Guerry and Nate Chapman, as well as forwards Jaheim McCathern and Drew Danner laced up and headed out onto their home court for the last time in the regular season, as well.

The Red Devils (15-8, 9-4) were able to snap a two-game losing streak with the 63-41 win over rival Maiden (7-16, 3-10). Even though it kind of collapsed in the fourth quarter – as the Blue Devils outscored Newton-Conover 18-14 in the period – the fact that it held a 49-23 lead heading into the frame made all of the difference.

Maiden hopes to snap its 4-game losing streak on Friday night for its 'Senior Night' match-up against Lincolnton at 8 p.m. While, Newton-Conover will look to close out the regular season with a road win over East Lincoln (19-4, 11-2).



The Lady Trojans were riding high on a three-game win streak heading into its home finale at Bost-Matheson Gymnasium on Tuesday, February 11. Taking on a bottom-feeder team in Lake Norman Charter – 7-15 overall and 3-10 in South Fork 2A Conference – Bandys had a bit of a challenge in senior guard/forward Toni Laney's regular-season home closer for its annual 'Senior Night.'

The Lady Trojans began the contest hot as it finished the first quarter ahead, 16-4. The Lady Knights, however, had the sparks in the second quarter as it went on a 13-5 run to close the half down, 21-17.

Coming out of the break, a battle would ensue between these respective programs and the Lady Trojans just narrowly won the war en route to a 54-44 victory. It clung onto a 37-28 lead heading into the final period.

Lady Trojans' sophomore forward Logan Dutka led the way in the win with a game-high 19 points. While, sophomore point guard Macy Rummage and Laney earned 10 points apiece. Forward Laci Paul followed up with eight of her own.

On the other side, Lady Knights' junior point guard Jillian Villanti led her team with 17 points followed by sophomore guard Marissa Sorvillo's 12.

The Lady Trojans will put its 4-game win streak on the line on the road in its season closer against North Lincoln (13-8, 6-7) on Friday. Bandys is in second place in the South Fork 2A Conference with a 10-3 record and 17-5 overall record.


Notes: Lady Bears' junior point guard Addie Wray scored 24 points in the blowout win over Hibriten on Tuesday night. Bunker Hill senior forward Madison Stotts scored a team-high 27 points for 'Senior Night.' Stotts also reached 999 career points for her effort – one shy of the 1,000 point club. She will eclipse the mark on Friday in a road contest against Fred T. Foard at 5:30 p.m. It will be Foard's 'Senior Night.' Bunker Hill is on a 5-game win streak. Hibriten is on a 6-game losing streak.

Records: Bunker Hill (17-6, 10-3 Northwestern Foothills 2A *tied for 2nd); Hibriten (3-19, 1-12 Northwestern Foothills 2A)



Unlike the varsity girls' team, the Trojans (8-15, 3-10) couldn't defend home-court against the best team in the South Fork 2A Conference Lake Norman Charter on Tuesday night.

By the end of the first quarter, the Trojans trailed the Knights, 26-14. After outscoring Bandys 22-8 in the second quarter to have a 48-22 lead heading into halftime, Lake Norman Charter didn't look back.

As far as the Trojans, seniors Spencer Ledford, Quenten Maddox, Zack Wright and Brendon Harrill led the charge. Ledford earned a team-high 13 points while Maddox and Wright collected 11 and 10 points each. Guard Brendon Harrill followed suit with eight points of his own.

Trojans' sophomore Parker Styborski and freshman Chris Culliver also obtained six points apiece.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for the star power of the Knights (17-5, 12-1) as it dropped the game in a big way, 85-59.

The Knights kept its foot on the throttle led by sophomore guard Donovan Atwell and junior Alec Edens as the pair finished with 27 and 16 points, respectively. Senior forward Jackson Porter corralled 15 points in the blowout victory.

The Trojans hope to halt North Lincoln's three-game win streak on Friday night while Lake Norman Charter closes out the regular season at home against a very dismal West Lincoln team (0-23, 0-13).


HIBRITEN – 14 22 17 25 = 78

BHHS – 11 18 14 21 = 64

HIBRITEN: Perry 17, Woodruff 17, Battle 13, Vaught 2, Abgher 13

BHHS: Desmond Anderson 18, Clayson Champan 8, Kaliq Ramseur 2, Ethan Hildebran 20, Carson Sigmon 7, Marcus Sigmon 3, Keenan Kee 3, Kaden Robinson 1, Mack Little 2

Records: Bunker Hill (3-20, 1-12 Northwestern Foothills 2A); Hibriten (20-2, 12-1)