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The Warriors started off slow in the first quarter, falling behind early, but established themselves with breakaway plays by one of their leading scorers, Holly Golden (15 points), late in the first quarter.
“We started a little bit loose on the offensive end. They double teamed Casey Askins and that slowed us down. On the defensive end, we didn’t rebound all that well either,” said New Covenant head coach Jason Edgmond.
Greenwood’s fatal mistake, though, was leaving the Warriors open at the three point arc because this allowed New Covenant’s other leading scorer, Emma Petree (15 points), some easy shots that established her team’s lead.
“When you play New Covenant, you have to stop Askins. We tried to double her, but that left a man open.” said Greenwood head coach Kent Hedgpeth. “We knew that Petree was a good shooter, but we were slow on our recoveries.”
Askins took the double team as an opportunity to redefine her team’s offensive dynamic. She said she does not feel the need to shoot when she has a teammate open and worked to distribute the ball instead of taking shots herself.
“I just move and get open and then try to see my teammates,” she said. “Petree can knock it down so I just try to kick it out to where she can put it in.”
Greenwood was unable to provide a significant challenge to the New Covenant lead until the fourth quarter.
New Covenant led 39-30 going into the fourth quarter, but Greenwood’s Crosby Garrison (17 points) turned up the heat, scoring a field goal and feeding the ball to Amy Abdalla (12 points) for two more points.
Trailing by only five and in control of the ball with 6:30 left to go, Greenwood appeared within reach of a comeback. Then Petree sunk her fourth and fifth 3-pointers of the night, effectively undoing all of Greenwood’s fourth quarter progress.
Greenwood remained a threat throughout the fourth quarter. They even picked up some late turnovers that brought them back to within reach of New Covenant’s lead, but could not organize in the last minutes of the game for the comeback they needed.
With the win tonight, New Covenant stands at 11-8 for the season and will play at Sarcoxie next on the 4th.
Greenwood is 10-7 and plays at Hermitage on the 4th.
New Covenant 10-17-12-10---49
New Covenant—Emma Petree 15, Holly Golden 15, Casey Askins 9, Bailey Gardner 6, Michaela Fernelius 4
Greenwood—Crosby Garrison 17, Amy Abddalla 12, Kelsey Nau 11, Courtney Whitlock 6.