Balanced attack carries Falls over Lordstown

NEWTON FALLS — Next-door neighbors met on the hardwood Monday evening, when Lordstown visited Newton Falls. The Tigers weren’t exactly gracious hosts as they over-matched the Red Devils, 60-31.

Sophomore guard Bree Hutson poured in a career-high 21 points to lead the way for Newton Falls. Hutson also led the team in rebounds with eight and assists with five.

“We pushed the ball really well,” Hutson said. “We pushed really hard, which kept us moving in the game. We played defense, and we were able to steal the ball. We were shooting well. We played together as a team.”

Newton Falls scored the first 10 points of the game before Lordstown senior forward Kaylynn Higinbotham nailed a three from the corner to put the Devils on the board. The Tigers continued to outhustle Lordstown, and built a commanding 24-6 lead after one quarter.

“They outworked us,” Lordstown coach Dave Smith said. ” They were the aggressive team. They put a lot of pressure on us, and we just didn’t handle it. We can’t turn the ball over. That was the biggest thing, not taking care of the ball.”

The Tigers had 12 steals on the night led by senior Kate Martinko with three.

Newton Falls junior guard Allison Sembach had a big first quarter, hitting three of her four 3 pointers, and scoring 10 of her 13 points.

The Red Devils (2-1) managed to slow down the Tigers in the second, but were still out-scored 14-6 in the quarter, and fell behind 38-12 at halftime.

Newton Falls (2-1) played good team basketball with three players scoring in double figures, including junior Elizabeth Barreca with 11. Sophomore Madison Haidet also chipped in with nine points.

“It was a good effort from my kids tonight,” Newton Falls coach Mark Baker said. “We’re doing a nice job of playing together as a team. I think we had three or four girls score in double digits. It’s nice to see the girls share the ball, and make the extra pass.

“We lost some players to graduation, so there are some young players out there. It’s nice to see kids that aren’t necessarily used to playing with each other, come together as a team.”

Newton Falls built a 56-21 lead after three quarters before emptying the bench in the fourth. Lordstown had its best quarter and senior Alexis Weekley made a lay-up as time expired for the final points of the game.

The Red Devils were led by senior forward Kellee Applegate with 12 points.