KENTLAND — Turnovers against full-court pressure defense has been South Newton’s Achilles Heel so far this year and that was no different in a 66-23 loss to Faith Christian Nov. 26.
The South Newton Lady Rebels turned the ball over 17 times in the opening quarter and didn’t score a point as they found themselves down 17-0 heading into the second quarter. South Newton would finish the game with 45 turnovers.
“Things we work on, we just don’t execute,” said South Newton coach Josef Keller. “When you turn the ball over and give them wide-open layups, there is no easy fix right now. We have worked on all of that in practice and until our players are comfortable playing against pressure, they are going to keep seeing it from other teams. We have found ourselves down big early in every game so far this year. Some times we can have several possessions when we look ok, then we revert back to those elementary mistakes.”
Behind six points from Lea Conrad in the second quarter, the Lady Rebels found a little offensive rhythm, which included a 6-1 scoring run early in the period to cut the deficit down to 12 points, 18-6.
However, Faith Christian would answer back and go on an 8-3 scoring spurt to end the half up 31-11.
Lillianne Hartman opened up the second half with back-to-back baskets for South Newton, which forced Faith Christian to go back to its full-court press.
Faith Christian would score the next 18 points for a commanding 49-14 lead after three quarters of play. During that stretch, the Lady Rebels went 0-of-6 from the floor with nine turnovers.
Hartman added four more points in the fourth quarter, but Faith Christian outscored the Lady Rebels 17-8 for the final score of 66-23.
Hartman finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead South Newton, while Lea Conrad had six points. Also scoring for South Newton were Kara Conrad, Mya Wittenborn, and Trinity Cragun, who all had two points.
For Faith Christian, Lily Martin led the way with 19 points, while Sydney Argo had 17 and Maddie Schoenradt had 14.
With the loss, South Newton dropped to 0-4 on the season but will be getting four key players back for its next game.
“It will help to get athletes back, but to be honest with you there is a lot of growth that needs to happen there too,” added Keller. “Just introducing those players back isn’t going to change mishandling the ball and not being where you need to be defensively. Getting them back will be a big help, but there is a lot more that needs to be worked on, and until we can handle pressure we are going to struggle.”