Story and photos by Alexis Mercer
Newaygo 37 White Cloud 26
It appeared White Cloud had a game plan coming in to the Lions gymnasium on Tuesday, knowing the Long sisters are a force to be reckoned with: double, even triple team either Jaxi or Jaylee immediately after crossing the half court line. It also appeared the Lions knew that game plan was going to happen and had a counter attack ready: quickly provide White Cloud with too many offensive options to guard with the Longs double and triple teamed.
Though the Indians' plan was effective in shutting down the Longs, not allowing either sister to be in the top scoring stats for the Lions, Newaygo's overall team play and offense dominated.
Emmerson Goodin came out quickly in the first quarter, hitting the boards and causing problems underneath for White Cloud. But the Indians were strong offensively under the basket as well, resulting in a tough battle in the paint on both sides.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was Lions 10, Indians 6. White Cloud's Carsyn Scarlavai was lightning on her feet, darting both defensively and offensively through the smallest of openings to keep her team in the game. Despite being a sophomore and one of the shortest girls on the floor, Scarlavai moved with such intensity and purpose that those factors didn't put her at a disadvantage.
Nearing the end of the first half, the Indians were within a few points and on a roll, but Anna Brummel quickly put them back down, grabbing a key rebound and then draining two consecutive shots to put the Lions up 22-15 to go into the locker room.
It was the third quarter that proved the game changer. The Lions outscored the Indians 10-0, creating a lead that White Cloud couldn't come back from despite persistence and never-ending hustle.
Sophia Frisbie led the Lions with 9 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Lily Ruehmeier and Emmerson Goodin had 8 points a piece. Goodin also had 8 rebounds.
Coach Thomasma stated "Good win tonight. White Cloud ran a Triangle and 2 and we had players step up. We also played some good defense."
Newaygo improves to 3-1 (1-0).
White Cloud falls to 2-3 (0-1).