Newfound’s Jordan Phinney pulls down a rebound between Berlin’s Megan Hood and Shannon O’Neil during opening night action Dec. 2. Richard Greenwood. (click for larger version)
December 05, 2011BRISTOL — The Newfound girls' basketball team got the season started off on the right foot, but it took a few minutes to get things in gear.
Newfound dominated from the start against Berlin on Friday, Dec. 2, but the Bears were unable to finish on a number of easy buckets.
However, the ball started to fall in midway through the first quarter. Newfound ended up winning the quarter 11-0.
"The full court pressure was causing turnovers but in the beginning we just weren't converting," coach Karri Peterson said.
In the second quarter Newfound started with full court pressure then changed to half court pressure. Berlin also switched from man-to-man to a zone press and a zone defense, enabling Newfound to score numerous baskets against the press.
Newfound outscored Berlin 30-4 in the quarter to take a 41-4 halftime lead. Jordan Phinney had 13 of her 25 in the second quarter and had 19 of 25 in the first half. Allie Symonds came off the bench and added five points in the quarter. Amber Plummer had nine of her 15 in the quarter and 13 of her 15 points in the half. Carah Marceau added a bucket off the bench and Alex Jewell converted on a foul shot. Newfound switched to 1-4 court defense in the third and Newfound outscored Berlin by a margin of 8-2.
"We definitely rely on our pressure defense to score easy baskets," Peterson said. "When we go back and sit in defense we definitely lose our strengths."
Freshman Karissa Bony had half of Newfound's points in the quarter and earned Peterson's praise for providing a spark coming off the bench.
In the final quarter Newfound outscored Berlin 13-9 until Emily McArthur hit the final shot being fouled as she made the three pointer to convert to make it a four-point play. McArthur scored 11 points in the quarter after she struggled for most of the game being in foul trouble.
The final score was 66-15. Phinney finished the game with 25 points, six rebounds, and five steals. Plummer had an all-around game with 15 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists. McArthur added 12 points. Symonds had five points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Newfound girls will be looking to once again be a force on the local basketball scene, coming off a stellar season as one of the top teams in the region.
"We are looking forward to hopefully a successful season coming off a 13-4 record from last season and building upon the team's accomplishments," Peterson said.
The Bears return three starters and eight players off last season's roster.
In the returning starting lineup is sophomore guard Plummer, senior guard Phinney and senior forward Abbey Symonds. McArthur is returning as the all important sixth player from last season.
Joining the starting line up this season is Allison Dorey who showed potential in a lot of big games last season. Dorey is a senior and a forward. Starting in the center position is either senior Marceau or senior Jewell, who came back to basketball after taking a season off.
Also returning to the roster is sophomore Allie Symonds and junior Natasha Yarbrough. Rounding out the varsity roster is junior Courtney Douville and sophomores Kayla Messersmith, Brittany McArthur and Andrea Shinn. Also, freshman Bony is on the varsity roster.
"We are definitely nine players deep and looking to make a run in Division 3," Peterson said. "We are hoping to go further and making it to the Final Four."
Next up for the Newfound girls will be a trip to Canaan to take on Mascoma in a 6:30 p.m. varsity start on Friday, Dec. 9. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the girls will travel north to Whitefield to take on White Mountains Regional for a 6:30 p.m. varsity start.