Thursday, March 09, 2000

Newport girls beat Boone

Enquirer contributor

        COVINGTON — Nicole Wagner already had missed one game-winning layup. All it did was make her mad enough to hit the second.

        Wagner, Newport's junior center, scored her only field goal of the game with a putback of her own miss with 1.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Ladycats a 55-53 win over Boone County in the quarterfinals of the Ninth Region tournament Wednesday night at Holmes.

        “It was ironic,” said Newport coach Aric Russel, whose 21-10 team advances to meet Holmes in the semifinals Monday at 6:15p.m. “I was on her all night about her rebounding, and she comes up with a huge one.”

        “I was mad at myself for missing the first layup, and I just pushed myself to get it,” Wagner said.

        Wagner's game-winner completed the come-from-behind effort started by Newport point guards Christina Jones and Molly White. Jones, a freshman, scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Ladycats back from a deficit that reached 11 points with 1:59 left in the first half.

        Though she was making her first career start in place of White, who missed practice time while suffering from an allergic reaction, Jones hit two consecutive 3-point shots and a game-tying layup in traffic before making a steal and getting fouled. Her two free throws gave Newport its first lead, 36-34, with 4:13 left in the game.

        “In the first and second quarters, we weren't in the groove,” Jones said. The Ladycats' most evident struggles were at the free-throw line, where they hit just 22 of 42. “I knew that if we wanted to win, we had to go hard. Once I get going, I like to drive and dish it off, or if I'm open, I'll take it.”

        “Jones is very quick,” Boone County coach Nell Fookes said. “She plays tough. She stepped up, but we still had our opportunities. We just didn't do the things that we had to do to win.”

        White came off the bench to score all nine of her points in the second half. She scored five in overtime, including the driving layup in traffic with 33 seconds left that set up Wagner's game-winning putback.

        Senior Ciara Henderson led the Lady Rebels (20-8) with 16 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to force overtime.

        NEWPORT (55) — T. Atkins 0 2 2, White 2 4 9, Wagner 1 2 4, Seibert 1 1 3, Beatsch 2 1 6, Jones 4 9 19, Mills 4 1 10, S. Atkins 0 2 2. Totals: 14 22 55.

        BOONE COUNTY (53) — Matheny 3 3 9, Mollson 3 5 11, Isaac 2 0 4, Grobmyer 4 2 10, Henderson 5 3 16, Milner 1 1 3. Totals: 18 14 53.

        Newport ....... 3 10 12 20 10—55

        Boone County ....... 11 9 9 16 8—53

        3-pointers: N — Jones 2, White, Beatsch, Mills. BC — Henderson 2. Records: N 21-10, BC 20-8.


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