By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD ? The winter postseason is officially underway with the Class 1A girls? basketball regionals tipping off on Thursday night.
New London and Winfield-Mt. Union faced off in Winfield during the first round of Class 1A Region 5. The Tigers kept it tight through three quarters, but W-MU took off in the fourth quarter for a 51-27 victory.
New London came out swinging early on. Sydni Coleman kicked things off with a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead and afer Karley Schlee scored the first basket for W-MU, Kara Krieger gave New London a 5-2 lead with a couple of free throws.
W-MU went on a big run midway through the first period. The Wolves scored the next 13 points in the ballgame, nine of which came from Lexee Hartsock. A Tiger basket from Layney Loyd ended the run, but the Wolves still led 15-7 after the first eight minutes.
Hartsock stayed red hot in the second quarter. She added 10 points to her total, and was also a menace on defense and getting rebounds. Krieger kept New London in the game with nine points in the second period. W-MU led 29-19 at the halftime break.
The Tiger defense put a scare into the W-MU faithful in the third quarter. New London shut the Wolves out for almost the entire period.
The Tigers scored just five points of their own in the third, four of which came from Alexa Wenger. Her second bucket of the quarter cut the lead to 29-24, but Hartsock finally put the Wolves back on the board with a couple of free throws in the final seconds. After three quarters, W-MU?s lead was down to 31-24.
The Wolves put the pedal to the medal in the fourth quarter. Kyndal Townsley started the period off with a jumper and Hartsock tallied eight points as W-MU blew the game wide open.
Overall, W-MU outscored the Tigers 20-3 in the final quarter to pull away with a 24-point win.
?In the fourth quarter, we hit finally hit our free throws, which was huge,? W-MU coach Mitch Wachs said after the win.? We loosened things up. We got a little more aggressive on the offensive boards and got a couple of stick backs.?
Hartsock had monster numbers. She led the team with 29 points on 11-18 shooting, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Schlee ended the night with eight points, including a 6-6 night from the free throw line. Lauren Jamison had five points. Townsley and Liana Sweezer scored four points apiece. Kayla Edwards had one point. Allie McArtor didn?t score in the win, but pulled down 14 rebounds nad led the team with four assists and two steals.
Krieger finished the night with 11 points and five rebounds to lead New London. Wenger and Loyd scored six points apiece. Coleman had three points and two steals in the loss and Claire Jones finished with one.
W-MU will host the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday, February 13. W-MU will take on a Holy Trinity team that blasted Notre Dame 49-16 in their own regional first round game on Thursday.