NEW LONDON — The New London girls’ basketball team ripped up the nets in their home opener against Cardinal on Tuesday night. Layney Loyd went for a triple double and New London shot over 50 percent from the field in a 64-30 win.
The two teams traded buckets early, but the Tigers started to pull away late in the first quarter. New London led 18-11 after one period and 33-17 at halftime.
Cardinal suffered a big loss midway through the first quarter when Maddie Cloke, their second-leading scorer from last season, went down with an ankle injury. That handcuffed the Comets’ post game for the rest of the night.
“It changes a lot,” said Comet head coach Makenzie Ostrander. “Maddie is a really big threat on the inside, and on the outside, and she’s a senior too, so she’s one of our main leaders and we run a lot of stuff through her.”
The Tigers took advantage down low, especially Loyd, who tore it up in the final three quarters, putting up 20 points in the last three frames. Cardinal’s best defense was putting 5’5 senior guard Lydia Moses down low to try and slow her down. Like Cloke, Moses went down with a lower body injury later in the game. “I’ll give my props to (Moses),” Tiger head coach Chad Wahls said. “She battled with Layney down low.”
New London was able to bust the game open in the third quarter. The Tigers continued to shoot the lights out and forced a handful of Comet turnovers in the third period to help stretch their lead to 57-25.
The Tigers closed out the game with an 11-6 fourth quarter to wrap up their first win of the season.
Loyd tallied stuffed the stat sheet, going off for 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Marah Hartrick finished the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Kara Krieger had 14 of her own. Natalie Burden finished the night with eight points, and Addie Pry had four.
“Having three girls in double digits is awesome,” Coach Wahls said. “It was a good team effort.”
The biggest bright spot for the Comets was Alexia McClure, the leading scorer for Cardinal last season. She finished the night with over half the Comets’ points, totaling 18.
“She did a great job,” Coach Ostrander said. “She’s a great ballplayer. She really did well with knowing when to drive to the basket and when to shoot.”
Moses ended the night with three points. Shaelynn Rupe scored four. Cloke and Ava Ferrell each put upt wo points, and Rachel Lewman had one.
New London moved to 1-2 overall with the win, and 1-0 in the SEISC South Division. They’ll host Central Lee on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Cardinal fell to 0-1 overall and in conference play, and will travel on Tuesday to Burlington Notre Dame.