Ashley Johnson scored 20 points and Caroline Ricks added 17 to lead New Washington to a 55-24 high school girls’ basketball victory over host New Albany on Tuesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.
New Washington (17-2) is ranked No. 8 in Class A, and coach Tammy Geron of Class 4-A New Albany was looking for options with leading scorer Tanner Marcum and 5-foot-10 Brianne Nixon out with injuries.
“We knew where we were and what we were faced with,” Geron said. “It’s one of those hurdles you have to overcome.”
The good news is that Marcum (ankle sprain) and Nixon (knee sprain) should be back when the Lady Bulldogs (9-11) meet No. 2 Bedford North Lawrence in the first round of the sectional next Tuesday.
Without Marcum — the team’s lone senior — and her 21.5-point average, the Lady Bulldogs struggled to put points on the board early, and the Lady Mustangs took advantage.
“There’s no question they were missing a main cog,” New Washington coach Terry White said.
Back-to-back baskets and a steal by Johnson helped New Washington grab a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. The Lady Mustangs had their first double-digit lead (12-2) on a basket by Kriston Sarver with 1:55 left in the first quarter.
New Albany got a 3-pointer from Stephanie Iglesias, but Ricks’ putback made it 14-5 after one quarter. Rick scored again to start the second quarter to restore a double-digit lead again. A driving basket by Johnson, followed by her two free throws moments later, made it 22-7 with 3:15 left in the half.
New Albany got a 3-pointer from freshman Jenna Shine and a three-point play by sophomore Lauren Camm to trail 26-13 with 43.3 seconds left in the half. But Ricks got loose inside again with 2.1 seconds remaining, making it 28-13 at the break.
The Lady Mustangs started the second half with an 11-0 run, highlighted by Ricks’ three-point play. Coari Robertson’s basket off an assist by Sarver capped the run and made it 39-13 with 3:22 left in the third quarter. Sarver finished with nine points.
Camm snapped the Bulldogs’ drought with a basket at the 2:55 mark and scored again late in the quarter, but they trailed 42-17 going to the fourth quarter.
“Tonight we played together as a team,” White said. “We want to compete on every possession.”
He cited sharing the ball and making the extra pass as keys to the Lady Mustangs’ success.
“When we do that we’re a good team, on the verge of being a great team,” he said.
New Albany was paced by Camm’s 10 points. The young Lady Bulldogs got 24 points from the freshman and sophomore classes.
New Washington (17-2) – Amick 2, Sarver 9, Johnson 20, Ricks 17, Abbott 2, Robertson 5.
New Albany (9-11) – Iglesias 3, Camm 10, McLean 4, Shine 3, Hirsch 2, Lyninger 2.
3-point goals – Shine 1, Iglesias 1.