Hiram took an 8-6 lead in the girls game at the end of the first quarter and went up 18-15 by halftime. With the game still close, The Lady Jags stood a good chance of coming back in the second half but those thoughts were quickly dashed in the third quarter as Hiram outscored New Manchester 8-1.
“We had some good shots but could not knock them down,” said NMHS coach Josh Martin. “We couldn’t make free throws or jump shots. It was a cold night for us.”
The Lady Jags outscored Hiram 11-8 in the final quarter but by then it was too late for a comeback attempt.
Freshman Deesha Brefford led the scoring for New Manchester with eight points. Deshauna Smith added seven.
Senior captain Alyssa Harris performed well on defense, not allowing Hiram to score in the paint.
The Lady Jags were 2-of-10 from the free throw line.
Despite an off day from leading scorer Keymont Jenkins, the New Manchester Jaguars still managed to pull out a 54-52 region win against visiting Hiram Tuesday night.
Jenkins had only six points, but several other Jaguar players managed to step up and lead the team to victory.
“With Keymont only scoring six points and us still picking up the win, that says a lot about the balance of this team,” said NMHS coach David Cottrell. “They did a good job of guarding him all night but to his credit he stepped up and played defense.”
Offensively, the Jags were led by Ryan Edwards and Joe Boyer. Edwards scored 15 points and Boyer followed with 10.
“Ryan did not have the best shooting night but he has a knack for putting the ball in the basket when we need him to,” Cottrell said. “He hit some timely shots.
Nashon Dortch also scored seven points for New Manchester.
Glenn Holloway was big off the glass for the Jags, scoring several crucial points off rebounds. He finished with five points total.
“He was huge tonight,” Cottrell said. “He rebounded well and was active defensively.”
New Manchester and Hiram battled back and forth early on in the game with the Jags, taking a 13-12 first quarter lead. NMHS went up 24-21 at the half. A 15-10 run in the third quarter put the Jags up by eight.
Hiram fought back in the fourth, pulling the game to within two points, but New Manchester was able to hit just enough from the free throw line for the victory.
“We played really hard the entire game,” Cottrell said. “Our execution on offense was good, we took quality shots, we out-rebounded them, and we won the loose ball battle.”
“They are a good basketball team that can really score and we had our hands full guarding them,” he added.
New Manchester will go back to work this Friday when they travel to South Paulding for another region game. The boys will play at 7:30 p.m. The girls will start at 6 p.m.
NMHS will travel to South Paulding for a pair of region games on Friday. Tip-off for the first game is 6 p.m.