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A rough night: Warriors, Lady Warriors fall in Area 3 Semis

Newport Grammar’s Shayla Stewart (center) battles for possession of the ball with a pair of New Center MIddle players. The Lady Warriors fell to the Lady Rockets 47-44 in the TMSAA Area 3-AA semifinals on Monday evening at Northview Academy.
Published: 4:00 PM, 01/28/2014 Last updated: 4:01 PM, 01/28/2014

Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

KODAK—The Newport Grammar School basketball teams found a tough night awaiting them in the TMSAA Area 3-AA semifinals on Monday night at Northview Academy.

The top-seeded NGS Warriors fell victim to a upset bid by New Center which was aided by late turnovers in a 41-36 loss.

Meanwhile in girls’ semifinal play, the Lady Warriors saw an early big lead evaporate and they had to rally to make a game of it down the stretch before falling 47-44 to New Center, which had beaten them last Thursday as well.

Newport Grammar retakes the court tonight in consolation bracket play, which is a must-win contest for both squads to advance to this weekend’s TMSAA Class AA East Sectional in Pigeon Forge. Tipoff time of consolation play is set for 4:30 p.m.

Warriors fade down the stretch

A trio of late turnovers gave New Center all the breathing room they needed to steal a victory away from the No. 1 Warriors in the Area 3-AA semifinals.

After an offensive putback by New Center’s Dalton Justice with 1:19 to play, the Rockets converted a Newport Grammar turnover into an easy steal and score to open up a 38-34 lead in the span of 21 seconds, with just under a minute to play in the final period.

The Warriors Alex Overholt buried a jumper with 47.4 seconds to play to close the margin to two, and after they got a stop on the defensive end - a turnover by the Warriors gave the Rockets’ Dillon Hicks another easy basket on a steal and score with 28.7 seconds, which effectively iced the game.
Newport Grammar was unable to get off another shot over the final seconds of regulation, as faced with a 40-36 deficit they turned the ball over again with 15 seconds to play.

The loss spoiled a superb offensive night by Overholt, who poured in 23 points during the game. Overholt was key in the first half success for the Warriors, which after a slow start built up their lead to as many as eight points. The Warriors’ eighth grader scored 13 of his 23 points in the opening two periods of play.

Despite the offensive success however, it was a lull in the late first half and opening minutes of the third period which became a thorn in the side of the Warriors. After building up an 18-10 lead in the second period, NGS went almost five minutes without a point, which let the Rockets back in the game and claim a 20-18 lead.

NGS eventually broke the dry spell with back-to-back 3-pointers by Isaac Williamson and Donovan Roach to go up 24-20, but then New Center rallied back to retake the lead in the early minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Rockets led for much of the period, before a key play got the Warriors back into the thick of
things with 1:35 to play. Off a missed bonus free-throw, Roach corralled an offensive rebound, which led to a Williamson basket off an Overholt assist to tie the game at 34 apiece.

Then the Rockets reeled off their stretch of steals, which were the pivotal turning point in their victory.

NEW CENTER (41): Preston McKinney 16, Dalton Justice 10, Dillon Hicks 7, Zackary Chance 6, Dylan McGaha 2.

NEWPORT GRAMMAR (36): Alex Overholt 23, Isaac Williamson 5, Donovan Roach 4, Cameron Ramsey 3, Harrison Smith 1.

Lady Warriors unable to complete rally

After opening up a huge early lead, the Newport Grammar School Lady Warriors had to mount a second half rally to remain in contention.

That rally however, fell just a few shorts shy, of completion.

NGS opened the game on a 12-2 run, but found themselves facing a six-point halftime deficit, which quickly turned into a 31-19 New Center lead in the opening stages of the third quarter.

However, with the game on the brink of disaster, the Lady Warriors righted the ship to get back into contention for the win.

Ariel Holt started the rally with a layup at the 3:33 mark, and then Paige Gentry went on a tear six of her team’s next eight points over a two-minute span. A strong press defense forced the Lady Rockets into miscues, which Gentry was able to turn into steals and scores, as the Lady Warriors closed the gap to 31-29 with 1:16 to play.

New Center grabbed some momentum back to end the period, however, as they used a three-point play by Julia Mitchell to hold a 34-30 lead headed into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Rockets scored the first four points of the final period to go up 38-30, and eventually 42-33, but again the Lady Warriors would mount another charge at the lead. A 9-0 run powered by Lauryn Munn, who scored five points in a 90-second sequence tied the game at 42 with 1:47 to play.

Newport Grammar had an opportunity to take the lead on its next possession, but a turnover gave the Lady Rockets the ball and eventually a 44-42 lead with 1:03 to play. NGS answered as Holt scored an offensive rebound off a free-throw miss and got the outback to  even the game at 44 all with 57 seconds left.

The two teams then swapped turnovers, before New Center’s Mitchell was fouled and made one of two free-throws to go up 45-44 with 21.2 left.

Newport Grammar had an opportunity, but a missed layup and then a missed chance at a defensive rebound on the other end, gave New Center the ball with their one-point advantage with 7.1 seconds left.

After the Lady Rockets converted on their free-throws, the Lady Warriors were unable to get off a final shot before the horn.

NEW CENTER (47): Peyton Doby 16, Rachel Roberts 9, Faith Muse 8, Kaitlyn Hill 6, Julia Mitchell 6, Jensen Overbay 2.

NEWPORT GRAMMAR (44): Paige Gentry 17, Lauryn Munn 13, Ariel Holt 6, Mackenzie Souder 3, Shayla Stewart 2, Skyller Hicks 2, Abby Fine 1.

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