Sports

Tigers back on top

New London knocks off West Burlington to retake first in the South

New London’s Camden Kasel drives past West Burlington’s Jace Figeuero during the first half of New London’s 68-56 win on Tuesday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
New London’s Camden Kasel drives past West Burlington’s Jace Figeuero during the first half of New London’s 68-56 win on Tuesday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
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NEW LONDON — There’s a new team at the top of the Southeast Iowa Super Conference South Division. After falling out of first place earlier this month, the New London boys basketball team ascended back to the top with a 68-56 win over West Burlington.

“I thought they came out with some fire,” said New London head coach Bryant Porter. “That’s what I tell them, to come out and play like there is no tomorrow.”

The Tigers and Falcons felt each other out early, with West Burlington taking a 14-13 lead after one quarter. Once the scoring really started, though, it was advantage New London.

The Tigers scored 19 points in the second quarter to take a 32-28 lead into halftime, and West Burlington leading scorer Marvion Jackson had three fouls, thanks in part to a late charge take by Kade Benjamin.

“I knew in the first half he was in foul trouble,” Benjamin said. “I stood in there and took a charge to get him out of the game, and then we went on a little run.”

Benjamin scored eight points in the third quarter to help put New London up 53-38 going into the fourth. He added six more in the final eight minutes to finish with a game-leading 25, all despite having to battle inside with West Burlington’s frontcourt of Jackson and Ethan Eilers, the biggest in the South.

“I like going against kids that are bigger than me,” Benjamin said. “It gives me a chance to show that I don’t have my back to the rim.”

Blaise Porter scored 15 points in the win. Camden Kasel finished with 12. Devin Swanson had six. Toren Riley scored five. Caydin Wahls had three, and Bowen Glaha finished with two.

New London moved to 11-4 overall with the win, and 10-2 in the South Division. The Tigers jumped the Falcons (11-4, 10-3) atop the South standings, and finished off the season sweep of one of their toughest division rivals.

“They’re a really fun team to play against,” Coach Porter said. “They match up perfectly, and we’ve had battles for years.”

New London will be back in South Division play Friday at Danville (7-6, 5-5).