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Amber Plummer goes hard to the hoop against Gilford pressure during action Dec. 6. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 13, 2011
BRISTOL — The Gilford Golden Eagles got burned by Newfound's Jordan Phinney last season and they didn't want it to happen again.

So when Gilford visited Bristol on Tuesday, Dec. 6, coach Rick Forge put in a box and one defense on Phinney in hopes of keeping her contained.

While the senior did notch 10 points in the win, Forge's plan for the most part was a success.

What he hadn't counted on, however, was Emily McArthur.

The Newfound senior came off the bench to score 28 points, including five three-pointers, as the Bears rolled to a 61-37 win over the Golden Eagles.

"When they went with a box and one on Jordan, I said we've got to get our shooters in the game," Newfound coach Karri Peterson said. "And Emily played a position she had never played."

Peterson called McArthur to the end of the bench and asked her if she'd ever played the three (small forward). McArthur said no, but Peterson knew she needed the shooters and put her in the game. The move paid off.

"When she gets hot, she doesn't miss a lot," Peterson said. "At that point they were so worried about Jordan, so we got Amber (Plummer) penetrating and Alex (Jewell) on the perimeter too.

"If you're going to go Jordan man-to-man, we'll go to other shooters," the veteran coach said. "But we hadn't really gone over what we needed to do against a box and one. That may be the first time (Phinney) has seen one."

Plummer got the scoring started off her own steal and Allison Dorey added a hoop for a quick 4-0 Newfound lead. After Gilford got on the board, Phinney drained two free throws and McArthur hit her first three-pointer of the night off a steal by Plummer to make it 9-2.

Gilford hit another hoop, but McArthur drained another from downtown for a 12-4 lead. Gilford found the bottom of the net again, but Jewell drilled a three-pointer for a 15-6 lead and Plummer hit a free throw to up the lead to 16-6.

McArthur answered a Gilford hoop with one of her own, but the Golden Eagles got the quarter's final hoop and trailed 18-10 after one quarter.

"Once Emily started hitting, I thought they'd come out of the box and one," Peterson said.

The second quarter belonged to McArthur, as she scored 14 of the team's 15 points in the frame.

She opened the scoring with a bucket for a 20-10 lead and after Plummer hit a free throw, Gilford answered with one from the line.

McArthur then converted off a Carah Marceau steal and added a free throw for a 24-11 lead. She then finished off a Plummer steal for a 26-11 lead and went baseline for two more to up the lead to 28-11 before Gilford got its first field goal of the quarter.

McArthur responded with another three-pointer and then sank another field goal for a 33-13 lead. Gilford hit the final four points of the half and trailed 33-17 at the break.

Jewell (one) and Phinney (two) hit free throws to open the second half and Phinney also finished off her own steal with a bucket before Gilford got on the board in the second half.

Abbey Symonds hit for two, only to see Gilford answer with two of their own. Phinney hit another free throw and Gilford responded in same. Marceau hit a free throw and Plummer drained two from beyond the arc in the final minutes of the quarter, sending Newfound to the fourth quarter with a 48-26 lead.

McArthur closed out her night by draining two three-pointers early in the fourth quarter and Phinney added another from downtown as the Bears stretched the lead to 57-29. A layup from Karissa Bony made it 59-29 before Gilford netted six points in a row to close the gap a bit. Jewell and Phinney each sunk a free throw in the final minutes to round out the scoring.

The Newfound defense was key on the night, as the Bears played a full court pressure for most of the game, which resulted in numerous points off turnovers.

"All the girls can play defense," Peterson said. "The only thing we really have issues with is boxing out because we don't have a lot of size."

McArthur finished with 28 to lead all scorers, while Jewell added 11 and Phinney chipped in with 10.

The Bears hit the road for the first time on Friday, Dec. 9, and defeated Mascoma 50-32.

Newfound started off the game having to come back from a quick deficit. Mascoma came out of the gates running through the press like the Bears weren't even there.

Mascoma was able to run off eight quick points and took an 8-2 lead. Newfound was missing lay-ups and foul shots and fell behind 17-7 after the first quarter and at times out of sorts.

However, the Bears were able to buckle and down and go on a run off their own and outscored Mascoma 23-2 in the second behind McArthur with four points, Phinney with six and Plummer with eight. Jewell also chipped in with three and Dorey added two.

Newfound came out of halftime continuing where they left off and outscored Mascoma 11-4 in the quarter behind six by Phinney. The fourth saw the two teams equaling baskets and kept it tied 9-9 in the quarter but Newfound had already gained enough of a lead and finished the game with its third win.

Phinney led all scorers with 21 points and Plummer had 15. McArthur and Dorey had four apiece and Jewell and Marceau had three points apiece.

"It was a great test for us," said Peterson.

Newfound will head to Bow for a 7 p.m. varsity start on Friday, Dec. 16, and will host Mascoma for a 6:30 p.m. start on Tuesday, Dec. 20. That will be the final game before the holiday break.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

Martin Lord Osman
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