VARSITY BASKETBALL: Red Devils earn regular season sweep over rival Bandys on Tuesday

Red Devils’ junior guard Jackson Mullins (10) leaps up while playing defense against Bandys’ Jackson Harwell (21) in the home victory, 61-42, on Tuesday night. (Photo by Michelle Thompson)rojans’ forward Zack Wright (20) tries to avoid the swipe by Newton-Conover sophomore forward Zane Redmond (32) on Tuesday night. (Photo by Michelle Thompson)Bandys’ forward/guard Parker Styborksi (24) attempts to back down Red Devils’ senior forward Jaheim McCathern (35) in the road loss on Tuesday, Janauary 28. (Photo by Michelle Thompson)In this file photo from December 27, 2019, Lady Red Devils' senior center Chyna Cornwell is backing down a St. Stephens' defender on her way to the hoop. Cornwell scored 19 points, as well as collected 18 rebounds and four blocks in the win over Bandys on Tuesday, January 28. (O-N-E file photo by Brian Hendrix)
By: 
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Everything went according to plan for Newton-Conover as its varsity basketball teams picked up home wins over rival Bandys on Tuesday night.

 

GIRLS

 

Newton-Conover 57, Bandys 20

 

In front of its home crowd, the Lady Red Devils entered this part two contest of the season series against the Lady Trojans (13-5, 6-3, South Fork 2A) and came away with an emphatic victory.

 

With the victory, Newton-Conover is on an eight-game win streak. The Lady Red Devils (16-2, 9-0) hold a two-game lead for first place in the South Fork 2A Conference. Previously in a tie with East Lincoln (13-6, 7-2) for second place, Bandys drops to third place in the conference standings.

 

After a quick Bandys' timeout with 5:50 left in the first quarter, the Lady Red Devils held an early 5-0 lead.

 

Even though both teams struggled at first to find the bottom of the net, this differential began to grow exponentially for Newton-Conover mainly due to the offensive prowess of star senior center Chyna Cornwell and the wily on-ball defense by senior guard Aaliah Walton.

 

Cornwell dominated the paint like she's prone to do with nine points, 10 rebounds (six offensively), two blocks and a steal heading into the second quarter. While. Walton garnered three steals that ultimately led to her earning eight points – including a pair of three-pointers.

 

For the Lady Trojans, sophomore point guard Macy Rummage was the only player to score in the first period as she earned her two points in the quarter on a fast-break. The Lady Red Devils (16-2, 9-0) maintained a 19-2 lead.

 

It didn't help that Bandys' star forward Logan Dutka went down in the first quarter with an injury after going for a rebound nearly halfway through the period. She would not return on the court for the remainder of the contest.

 

Due to the absence of Dutka, Bandys needed to find other contributors on offense to no avail. Because of this, the Lady Red Devils were able to capitalize in transition off of the Lady Trojans' missed shots.

 

Cornwell finished the first half with 12 boards, 11 points, three blocks and one steal. Freshman point guard Cassidy Geddes also came alive in the second period as she garnered 11 points – including a trio of threes – along with four rebounds, five assists and two steals.

 

Lady Trojans' senior forward Toni Laney was the only player to score in the second quarter coming at the free-throw line, trailing Newton-Conover at the half tremendously, 37-3.

 

Nevertheless, Bandys showed signs of life in the third quarter led by Laney. She connected on the team's first three of the night in the frame to inch her team closer to double-figures on the scoreboard. Junior Laci Paul and Rummage each chimed in with two points in the quarter after the Lady Red Devils put in its reserves with about four minutes left in the quarter.

 

Although it trailed 46-10 heading into the final frame, Rummage played extremely well on defense as she collected a game-high six steals – five through three quarters. She also finished with six points, two rebounds and an assist.

 

On the other side, not playing most of the fourth quarter, Cornwell collected 19 points, 18 rebounds (nine offensively), four blocks (game-high) and a steal. Senior forward Jahlea Peters got going in the second half as she earned eight points, two boards, three assists and tied with Walton for a team-high four steals. Junior forward Grace Loftin obtained three points, six rebounds (three offensively), two assists and a steal.

 

Geddes finished with 14 points – including four threes – seven assists, four rebounds and two steals in the big win.

 

The Lady Red Devils even earned solid contributions from its bench, especially Nalece Duncan and Emma Fox. Duncan collected a pair of steals, in addition to four points. Fox stood her ground in the paint as she obtained two points, five rebounds (three offensively), one assist and a block much to the acclaim of her teammates.

 

For Bandys in the final period, guard Whitney Drummond would be the spark as she corralled a team-high eight points – including a pair of three-pointers – in limited minutes, along with a takeaway. Unfortunately, her run would come much too late in the game as it fell to the top-seed of the South Fork 2A Conference, 57-20.

 

Up next for the red-hot Lady Red Devils is a home encounter on Friday with West Lincoln (2-14, 1-7) slated for a 6:30 p.m. start. While, Bandys looks to bounce back and hopefully have Dutka in the line-up in its contest against Lincolnton (2-15, 1-8 South Fork 2A) as it returns to Bost-Matheson Gym for a 6:30 p.m. start.

 

BOYS

 

Newton-Conover 61, Bandys 42

 

This contest between Newton-Conover (13-6, 7-2 South Fork 2A) and rival Bandys would begin similar to its previous season match-up on Jan. 3 – which the Red Devils won in overtime, 71-66.

 

With the victory, the Red Devils stayed locked in a tie with East Lincoln (15-4, 7-2) for second place in the South Fork 2A Conference.

 

At the end of the first quarter, the Red Devils held only a 14-8 edge over its counterpart. The second quarter was even closer as Bandys (7-12, 2-7 South Fork 2A) trailed Newton-Conver, 28-24, heading into the break. Red Devils' junior guard Jackson Mullins pushed his team out in front by four as he connected on a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the half.

 

For the most part, neither team could get the jump on one another offensively. Mullins led the Red Devils in scoring in the first half with eight points – including a pair of threes. While, Trojans' senior point guard Quenten Maddox paced his squad with eight points and an assist. Also, Bandys could only connect on one three-pointer in the first half.

 

Sparked by its defense in the second half, the Red Devils were able to move ahead by double-digits to end the third period ahead, 44-33.

 

The defensive intensity picked up due to Red Devils' junior point guard Trey Kennedy leading the way with five steals total. Following his mark, his team kept the foot on the throat of Bandys which led to fast-break opportunities. Kennedy finished the third quarter with eight points – including a trey – one rebound and two assists, in addition to his steal count.

 

Red Devils' senior guard/forward Mathew Martinez and junior guard Maverick Davis began to heat up; because of the defensive spark, the pair scored nine and seven points apiece.

 

In the fourth quarter, it looked as though it would be smooth sailing for the Red Devils. Senior forward Jaheim McCathern finished with seven points and two rebounds, while Martinez led Newton-Conover with 11 points, six boards, a game-high four assists, one block and a steal. Senior Drew Danner didn't score a bunch, but he got after it on the glass as he finished with six rebounds of his own, two assists and six points.

 

Sophomore Zane Redmond obtained five points, three boards and two steals for Newton-Conover.

 

Jayden Roseman and Keenan Guerry even got in on the fun off of the bench as the pair knocked down a combined trio of threes. Guerry connected on two from downtown while Roseman earned one. All three were scored in the final period.

 

For the Trojans, Zack Wright, Maddox and freshman forward Chris Culliver paced the team as its leading scorers. Wright collected eight points, five boards and two assists. While, Maddox and Culliver each garnered a team-high 10 points. Culliver would connect on the team's only other make from beyond the arc.

 

The Red Devils should have a cake-walk in its next contest against West Lincoln (0-19, 0-9 South Fork 2A) at home on Friday night at 8 p.m, but one can never tell. As for Bandys, it faces the Lincolnton Wolves (7-11, 3-6 South Fork 2A) at home set for an 8 p.m. tip-off.

 

OTHER AREA SUMMARIES:

GIRLS

MAIDEN 64, WEST LINCOLN 19

West Lincoln 4 2 9 4 = 19

Maiden 20 13 22 9 = 64

WL- Norman, Chapman, Alexa Beiberich 4, Richardson 4, Anna Beiberich 8, Willis, Jenkins, Beddingfield 1, Watson 2.

Maiden- Keener, *Anaia Shank 10, Rice 2, Arrowood 3, Andrews 7, Hentschel 8, Bohemier, *Maggie Sigmon 17, Glover 7, Bass 5, Mingus 5.

*career highs

Records: Lady Blue Devils (8-11, 5-4 South Fork 2A); West Lincoln (2-15, 1-8 South Fork 2A)

BOYS

EAST LINCOLN 90, LINCOLNTON 71

East Lincoln 21 12 25 32 = 90

Lincolnton 11 15 18 27 = 71

East Lincoln (7-2, 15-4): Jeremiah Jones 13, Evan Montanari 20, Myles Adams 16, Justin Kuthan 33, Matthew McCowan 0, Drew Bean 2, Logan Craig 0, Ethan Staples 0, Petey Nichols 2, Justin Brown 2, Jalen Williams 2, Spencer Farr 0

Lincolnton (3-6, 7-11): Amontre Finger 19, Dejarrius Gash 10, Davis Grooms 32, Tylan McClain 0, Conner Williams 7, Reed King 3, Gavin Queen 0, Ben Motz 0

Of Note: With the win, the Mustangs sweep the season series with the Wolves and have won 9 of their last 10 games.

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