New Albany boys got off the bus shooting and went on to beat Myrtle 80-51 to advance to the championship of the Union County Tournament.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-2 lead after a quarter and continued to add to their advantage.
Myrtle could not get their shots to fall and did not score in the second period until 4:44 was left until half as Brayden McNeal's free throw broke the drought.
However, New Albany did not slack up offensively as they hung 31 points up while holding the Hawks to 14 and they went to the half with the Bulldogs holding a commanding 47-16 lead.
New Albany slowed just bit in the third quarter as they only scored 21, but their defense held Myrtle to 16 and the score after three was 68-32.
New Albany had four players in double figures led by Kam Carter's 23 points. A.I. Nugent scored 16, Michael Smith scored 11, Artaveion High hit for 10 and Kevin Hernandez scored nine.
Myrtle was led by Jaden Taylor's 18 points and QD Sanders finished with 15.
New Albany will play at Ingomar on Saturday at 7:45 against the Falcons in the boys championship game.
(G) New Albany 56, Ingomar 49
New Albany’s girls and Ingomar’s boys punched their tickets to the Union County Tournament championship games with wins in Friday’s semifinals at Ingomar.
The Lady Bulldogs defeated Ingomar 56-49 after taking an early lead and fighting off a late challenge by the Lady Falcons.
It was quite a turnaround for New Albany, which dropped a 61-27 decision to Ingomar in a Dec. 29 game. To the Lady Bulldogs’ credit, they were coming off a Covid-19 quarantine when the two teams played.
“We didn’t do anything right the first time we played,” New Albany coach Micha Washington said. “I think we capitalized on the right things tonight. We had heart, hustle and played hard for four quarters. That’s all we can ask from them.”
The Lady Bulldogs were at full strength in the rematch. Senior guard Ashanti High connected on four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points. Senior post player Analisa Cheairs added 15 points. Madison McDonald, a guard, added 11 points and hit two second-half 3-pointers.
“If they go the rest of them go,” Washington said, referring to High and Cheairs. “They’re the heart and soul of our team.”
New Albany’s zone defense challenged the Lady Falcons on the perimeter. Kaylee Johnson’s late second-quarter 3-pointer was Ingomar’s first of the game. Johnson connected on three second-half 3-pointers to fuel the Lady Falcons’ comeback attempt. She finished a team-best 16 points.
Macie Phifer’s layup with 1:48 remaining cut New Albany’s lead to 49-46. However, Ingomar suffered four late turnovers. High and McDonald clinched the win with free throws.
“The players wanted it,” Washington said. “That was a fun game, a great win.”
Phifer finished with 14 and Katie Beth Hall had nine for Ingomar.
New Albany will travel to West Union to play the Lady Eagles for the girls championship on Saturday at 5:30.
(B) Ingomar 93, West Union 57
The Falcons soared to a 26-8 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
Sophomore Adin Johnson scored 26 points and senior Eli Reed added 21 to lead Ingomar to its 17th win of the season. Johnson made four 3-pointers and Reed hit for three.
Tyson Smithey scored 11, Zach Shugars 9, Spencer High 8 and Breyden Bell 7 for the winners.
Daniel Conlee scored 19 to lead West Union. Cole Willard added 12 points.