PLEASANT HILL — Houston’s girls basketball team was able to finish off a win against Newton on Monday night.
And for the Indians, it was another great effort coming up just short.
The Wildcats improved to 1-10 with the victory, while Newton dropped to 4-8 after the Indians fell 43-39 Monday night at home in nonleague play.
“We still have to learn how to finish games,” Houston coach Brad Allen said. “But, we were able to get the win. We have played a really tough schedule. We knew this was going to be a good game tonight.”
For Newton, it is just a matter of putting it all together. On this night, it was missed opportunities due to turnovers that really limited possessions.
“We made the shots tonight,” Newton coach Ryan Fiely said. “We just had too many turnovers. A lot of them were when we had three-on-one or four-on-two fast breaks. We just have to make better passes.”
And still, when Houston seemed to be in control in the final two minutes, Newton had a 3-point shot to tie it with just under 10 seconds to go.
“I wish we had been more aware of the time,” Fiely said. “But, it was still a pretty good look.”
Houston made just two of six free throws down the stretch — but the Wildcats still had a 42-36 lead with under a minute to go.
“We didn’t shoot them well all game, so I knew it (the free-throw shooting late) probably wasn’t good,” Allen said.
Newton’s Camryn Gleason, who scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter, scored with 27.2 seconds to go to get Newton within 42-38. Houston missed two free throws with 25.8 seconds to go and Gleason was fouled with 13.7 seconds to go. She missed both free throws, but got her own rebound and was fouled again with nine seconds to go. Gleason hit the first one to make it 42-39, but missed the second.
Kailey Heisey grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out for what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer. It bounced off the rim and Mariah Booher made one of two free throws for Houston for the final margin.
“We had two big offensive reboounds there at the end by Camryn (Gleason) and Kailey (Heisey),” Fiely said. “These kids are working so hard and they did again tonight.”
Madalynn Hughes scored seven points in the first quarter as Newton jumped out to a 9-4 lead late in the quarter.
“Madalynn (Hughes) kind of kept us in the game there in the first half,” Fiely said.
Houston’s Amber Stangel caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 10 points to spark the Wildcats. The Wildcats finished the half on a 9-3 run, with Stangel hitting two 3-pointers and Megan Maier adding one as they turned a 15-12 deficit into a 21-18 lead.
“Amber (Stangel) has been our go-to girl all year,” Allen said. “It was good that she got us going there in the second quarter. We had started a little slow.”
Hughes, who had 10 points in the first half, added six more in the third quarter to keep Newton within 32-26. Houston maintained that lead throughout the fourth quarter, before the dramatic finish.
Hughes led all scorers with 18 points, as she combined with Gleason for 28 of Newton’s 39.
Stangel led Houston with 16 and Maier added 11.
Houston will play at Jackson Center on Saturday.