By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON ? It wasn?t quite New London?s night on Tuesday when both Tiger teams hosted SEISC South Division rival Notre Dame. The girls fell 53-35 and the boys dropped their game 67-57.
The Tiger girls jumped out to an early lead thanks to five different players scoring in the first quarter. Notre Dame was able to battle back, however, and spiked a 13-12 lead in the final seconds of the period.
The New London offense was only able to muster eight points in the second quarter but the defense kept the Nikes to just 11 of their own to keep it within two posessions. The Nikes did score the final four points of the half, which gave Notre Dame a 24-20 lead at the half.
The Nikes started to inch away in the third quarter the Tiger girls were still within 10 points after three quarters. Notre Dame led 38-28 with one period left.
The Nikes were able to get hot from outside down the stretch. Notre Dame followed their 14-point third quarter with a 15-point fourth and knocked New London off 53-35.
New London coach David Streeter said he could see his team getting better, noting that the Tigers were getting good shots, but said they needed to start making more of those to keep their opponents from going on big runs.
?When I get my outside working in, it opens things up for us,? Streeter said. We?re getting shots off, we?re just not able to make them right now. It will get better.?
Sydni Coleman and Kara Krieger co-led the Tiger girls with nine points apiece in the loss. Coleman also led the squad with three assists and three steals.
Layney Loyd had eight points and eight rebounds. Alexa Wenger scored four points and pulled down a team-leading 10 rebounds. Kristen Rohdy scored three points and Savannah Sutherland had two.
The boys? team got off to a decent start offensively, but they had trouble keeping up with the hot shooting of Notre Dame guard Jeff Tjaden. Tjaden hit corner three after corner three and helped the Nikes put the Tigers in a 19-12 hole after the first quarter. Grant Swanson led the Tigers with seven points in the first eight minutes.
The Nikes kept shooting well in the second quarter. New London scored 13 points in the second quarter but Notre Dame was still able to pull away, leading 38-25 at the break.
New London was able to move the ball a little better against Notre Dame?s zone in the second half, but the Tiger defense just couldn?t keep the Nikes from scoring.
Notre Dame led 54-39 after three periods. New London was able to claw back to make it a single-digit game in the fourth but the Tigers couldn?t slow down the Notre Dame offense. Tjaden finished with 31 points and the Nikes knocked off the Tigers 67-57.
?He had one of those special nights where everything is going in (and) nobody could guard him,? Tiger coach Bryant Porter said about Tjaden?s night. ?Once he hit two or three of them, the rim was probably the size of the ocean. Some players have those kinds of nights and you try to do whatever you can to stop the bleeding, but when that does happen, you can?t let everybody else kill you too.?
The Tiger boys had four players reach double-digits in the loss. Swanson finished with 14 points. Isaac McSorley and Keontae Luckett scored 13 apiece, and Alex Dentlinger finished with 10. Koby McBeth tallied five points in the loss and Justin Henecke had two.