Springfield, MO (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- New Covenant Academy came home with a first place finish in Bradleyville, Mo. Saturday afternoon with a 12-point victory over Everton, 81-69.
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Known for their quick speed and fast-break offense, Everton started out pushing the ball each transition in effort to tire the Warriors early, but New Covenant was able to counteract the Tigers’ momentum thanks to the hot-streak of Jarred Schrader who nailed 15 points in the first quarter.
“I was on fire,” Schrader said. “I try to not think too much when I’m in the zone; I just shoot with the hopes that I put the ball in the hole. My teammates did a really good job of getting me the rock and setting me up in the position to score.”
The opening period consisted of four lead changes, but New Covenant dominated offensively in the second quarter outscoring Everton 21-6 to claim a 21-point lead at the half.
After intermission, the Warriors continued their offensive success into the second half leading by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter, but Everton battled back to come within 10 with 23 seconds left. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ couldn’t climb any closer as New Covenant improves their season to 9-4.
“We have been on a hot streak since Christmas, and we want to continue playing well,” said New Covenant coach Mike Foley. “We shot much better in the first half than we did in the second, so we want to make sure we can continue to finish our games instead of coasting to the end.”
Schrader paved the way for New Covenant with a game-high 38 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers and going 9-10 from the free throw line. Austin Cassity added 18 points for the Warriors.
“You have either scorers or shooters on a team, and Jared is definitely a shooter,” said Foley. “He truly made a difference in the championship game.”
Everton took more of a balanced approach, ending with four players in double-figures. Logan Brown led the Tigers with 19 points, Dave Allan chipped in with 16, Cody Brewer scored 15, and David Janson had 10.
“We knew how badly we wanted this title, so we stayed focused and didn’t let up. This is something we have looked forward to all year,” said Schrader.
Chadwick rolled New Covenant in huge first half
The Lady Warriors were no match for Chadwick, as the Lady Cardinals fly away with the gold in the Mark Twain Conference Tournament, 65-29.
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“To be honest, we expected to win the tournament. We have already played everyone in the conference and right now we just have a great group of kids playing great basketball,” said Chadwick coach Darin Meinders.
It was a brutal first half for New Covenant to say the least.
Chadwick shutout the Lady Warriors on a 31-0 run that extended into third minute of the second quarter. New Covenant was able to relinquish themselves a bit, scoring 12 points before halftime.
Though Chadwick’s early defensive pressure, which created numerous New Covenant turnovers, gave the Lady Cardinals the offensive advantage down the stretch.
“We certainly came out in the first quarter with great intensity and really got after it,” said Meinders. “Our strategy is the same as it is every night; to run and play as hard as we can. Defensively we cause a lot of stress with the pressure we put on teams and I believe that’s fundamental to our success thus far. And I thought we did a good job in the first half of keeping control of the ball offensively as well.”
The Lady Cardinals led 44-12 at the half and never seemed to look back, as Chadwick downs New Covenant by a 36-point margin.
Chadwick’s Maddie Hursh netted six 3-pointers to lead all scorers with 26 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Kailyn Rozell scored 11 points.
Casey Askins contributed 18 points despite New Covenant’s loss.