New Manchester hosted Whitewater Saturday night in a pair of non-region games. The Lady Jaguars came out a little sluggish, and though they played better, would not be able to fight back into the game, suffering a 51-38 loss. The New Manchester boys controlled the game from start to finish, winning 76-47.
In the girls game, Whitewater came out and put the Lady Jags behind early, 19-6. The offense continued to sputter in the second period with New Manchester only managing four points. They went into the break down, 32-10.
“We came out flat from the start and did not execute. We could not play defense and could not put the ball in the hole,” said NMHS girls coach Vincent Parks. “That continued in the second quarter. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe it was because of the Thanksgiving break coming up, but we were not ready to play. We committed a few turnovers and gave up fast breaks.”
In the second half, New Manchester started to play better. They trailed 41-20 after the third period before closing out the game.
“In the second half we came alive a little bit and looked decent,” Parks said. “The defense got a little better and we woke up and started playing. I changed the rotation and we went small, but we did have a little bit of a defensive breakdown.”
Also hurting the team was shooting from the free throw line. The Lady Jags went 11-for-27.
“If we had even made half of what we missed then we could have been in the ball game,” Parks said. “I told the kids we have to continue to fix our mistakes. We have not come close to playing a complete ball game.”
Deesha Brefford was the New Manchester offense. She scored 19 points. No other player had more than three. The coach has been working on getting Brefford to be a little more aggressive.
“I felt she was not aggressive enough in our first two games. In the second half she started to attack the basket and got some fouls and made the shots,” Parks said. “We need other people to step up and put it in the hole.”
Freshman Kenya Cordy played well defensively.
“She is young and still learning but she rebounded well,” Parks said.
In the boys game, New Manchester jumped out to a 28-14 lead. They led 42-18 at the half.
“That first quarter we came out very aggressive and I was very pleased,” said NMHS boys coach James Bailey. “The scoring was balanced all around and we were able to get some of the football guys in, in the second half.”
Moving subs in and out of the game, the Jags kept a 62-33 lead at the end of the third period before closing out the game.
Tabashi Thomas, fresh off the football field, led the team with 17 points.
“He can really help us scoring and in overall play,” Bailey said. “He takes a lot of attention away from Tyler Edwards and is just as good of a threat.”
Clinton Bentley followed Thomas with 10 points. Six players in total scored at least eight.
“I was very pleased with the effort and we played completely as a unit,” Bailey said. “Good things will continue to come if they play this way.”