MASON CITY | The Newman Catholic girls basketball team left little to chance on Tuesday.
The Knights put together a nearly perfect first half of play — which included a 37-0 run over a 10-minute span of the first and second quarters — and blew out Nashua-Plainfield 77-23 in Top of Iowa Conference East Division play.
The Knights’ first half said it all.
Newman scored 14 consecutive points over the final 3:19 of the first quarter to take a 22-6 advantage after eight minutes.
The Knights opened the second quarter with a 22-0 run, thanks in large part to their full-court pressure defense that forced 28 first-half turnovers.
“Peyton (Olson), Maria (Detrman) and Paige (Walker) have been running that press for four years now,” Newman coach Mike Schutt said. “But the best thing was we made some shots.”
The turnover disparity led to Newman taking 31 more attempts from the field over the first 16 minutes.
The Knights shot a respectable 44 percent for the half, including 4-of-5 on 3-point attempts in the second quarter, while limited the Huskies to just 2-of-10 shooting, and the result was a 50-8 halftime margin.
With the game comfortably in hand by intermission, Schutt substituted liberally in a second half that had a running clock throughout.
“We know we can’t take anything lightly,” Determan said. “This will really boost our confidence.”
Eleven Knights scored in the game.
Olson led four Newman players with 16 points, all in the first half.
Lily Castle added 14 points while Hailey Worman and Determan had 11 apiece.
Britney Holthaus had seven to lead N-P.
Newman (3-2) returns to action on Friday when it travels to West Fork for an important conference matchup against the Warhawks.
The Huskies (0-5) look to get untracked Monday when they travel to St. Ansgar.