2017-12-07 / Sports

Eagles Nip Indians in Early Season Thriller

By Stephen King


At left: Allison Margherio goes for three for the Engadine Eagles as a Newberry player guards her. At left: Allison Margherio goes for three for the Engadine Eagles as a Newberry player guards her. Newberry and Engadine girls’ basketball teams showed heart and early-season strengths and weaknesses in a showdown that ended with visiting the Lady Eagles collecting a 66-59 win Friday night, December 1, over the Indians.

The loss for Newberry in its home opener followed a road win earlier in the week at the expense of Brimley. It was the first game of the season for the Lady Eagles, who got off to a quick start with Aubrey Simmons dominating in the paint at both ends of the court and showing why she is among the best athletes in the Upper Peninsula.

Executing play after play, Engadine also got a boost from Mickaela Deace. She dove after loose balls, interrupted the Indians’ offensive flow, and moved the ball around on offense.

After falling behind early, however, Newberry kept coming back and closed within three points early in the second half. For most of the game after that, the Lady Indians stayed within a couple of possessions, never allowing Engadine to get comfortable.

“It feels really good to get this win tonight,” said Deace. “This was a really physical game. There was a lot of diving for balls and a lot of contact.”

She said the Lady Eagles faced “a lot of pressure” taking lategame free throws to ice the win.

“The Newberry fans kept yelling and that was pretty distracting,” she said, “but we just had to focus and make the shots.”

Eagles coach Roger French gave credit to Newberry for making it a tough game.

“They never quit coming at us,” French said. “We got off to a good start, then they kept coming back. It was a fun game to be part of, but we have some work to do. We didn’t do well at all from the line. We put 66 points on the board, but we left a lot out there. We missed a lot of free throws.”

French said missed free throws can be the difference between a comfortable lead and a tight game.

“Tonight, we left the door open and they almost came back and took the win, but, that’s something we can fix,” he added. “We will be going back into the gym and working on this. We have some good teams coming up and if we will have to make our free throws if we want to get the win.”

Scoring

Newberry: 59; Engadine: 66

Newberry: Adrian Dewpew 12, Adrika Tomica 12, Madison Grigg 11, Alexis Grouenhout 9, Aly Cameron 6, Felicia Raymond 3, Emily Smart 2, Abby Edwards 2. Free throws: 13-31. Fouls: 29. 3- point goals: 5-17 (Tomica 2, Griggs 2.)

Engadine: Aubrey Simmons 28, Allison Margherio 16, Sophia Vaugh 11, Mickaela Deace 8, Ashtyn Buss 2, Kenna Hopper 1. Free throws: 22-43. Fouls: 24. 3- point goals: 2-19. (Margherio 2.)

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