Erica Carney picked an ideal time to have a career-best night.
The senior forward totaled a career-high 26 points with six rebounds and four steals as No. 8 Newfield rallied for a 46-40 victory against ninth-seeded Greene on Tuesday in the first round of the Section 4 Class C girls basketball tournament.
“She is just tremendous at the front of that press,” Newfield coach Gary Emerson said, “She is just so athletic as well, so she deflects a lot of passes and steals a lot of passes. She just finishes well. She is just a tremendous athlete and she really stepped up tonight.”
Carney credited Newfield’s defensive pressure as the Trojans erased a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“When we pressure in our 1-3-1, we are able to get a lot of turnovers,” Carney said. “I was in the right place at the right time. It allowed us to really push the ball up the floor.”
Carney and senior point guard Megan Pakkala each scored nine points in the fourth quarter as Newfield mounted its comeback. Carney scored seven consecutive points, including her only 3-pointer with 4:14 left that gave Newfield a 40-37 lead.
“They had me worried. They were really stagnant there for a while, and then we finally started coming back when we penetrated their zone more. We started getting some fouls on them and then we went back to our full-court pressure. I thought we got a spark going, and Maryah Byrd really came in and gave us a lift as well.”
Newfield (13-5) advances to face top-seeded Lansing (16-2) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Carney carried Newfield in the first half, scoring 14 of her team’s 18 points. Carney scored eight of her 14 points in transition, including a pair of baskets off steals.
Greene (11-6) acclimated itself and did a better job of handling the Newfield full-court pressure in the second quarter.
Greene took its first lead of the game with 3:32 left in the first half on a drive from senior Kaitlin Gorton. Gorton and fellow senior Rebecca Smith did a good job of breaking the Newfield press, driving the basket or finding some room for 3-point attempts.
Smith scored a team-high 10 points, including two 3-pointers, in the first half and Gorton and Jessica David each added six more.
After opening the second quarter with a pair off baskets from Carney, Newfield went ice cold in the final five minutes, failing to score a single point. Newfield looked increasingly uncomfortable operating its half-court offense. Newfield got away from the transition offense where it had so much success in the first quarter.
Newfield settled down in the third quarter. Byrd, an eighth-grade point guard and a recent callup to varsity, provided a spark after senior point guard Megan Pakkala left the game with a left ankle injury. Byrd had two assists and drew a charge.
Pakkala later in the third quarter, but Byrd remained in the game. Pakkala opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner as Newfield closed within 30-29.
But Smith answered with five straight points as Greene extended its lead to 35-29.