Sports

Wolves take down Tigers

Winfield-Mt. Union too deep for New London in season opener

Winfield-Mt. Union’s Bradie Buffington (middle) and Kyndal Townsley (left) celebrate a Melina Oepping basket in the second half of the Wolves’ 60-29 win over New London on Friday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Winfield-Mt. Union’s Bradie Buffington (middle) and Kyndal Townsley (left) celebrate a Melina Oepping basket in the second half of the Wolves’ 60-29 win over New London on Friday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
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NEW LONDON — The Winfield-Mt. Union girls basketball team was at full strength for the first time in two years, and that spelled bad news for a young New London team on Friday night. The Wolves showed off their depth in a 60-29 road win to kick off the 2020-21 season.

New London stuck with W-MU early, but the Wolves ran out to a lead, led by Jobey Malone, who scored five points in the opening period. When the first quarter buzzer sounded, the Wolves led 11-6.

W-MU’s pressure defense was relentless in the second quarter. The Wolves held the Tigers to just four points in the second period, and scored a flurry of fast break points to break the game open.

Keely Malone tallied eight points in the second quarter. The Wolves put up 23 points as a team, and it was a 34-10 Wolves lead at the break.

“It felt really good to all play as a team,” said W-MU guard Kyndal Townsley. “I feel like we all did our part.”

New London started to find its offense again in the third, getting six points down low from sophomore Keaura Williams, who was playing her first high school basketball game. The Wolves still outscored the Tigers 15-6 in the period, including a layup from Jenna Buffington, who was in her first game back after missing the entire 2019-20 season due to injury.

“It felt so good,” said Buffington, who was a first-team All-Conference player two years ago. “That’s the first time I’ve played a game in about two years (and) it feels so good to be back on the court with my teammates.”

New London outscored W-MU 13-11 in the fourth quarter, but the damage had been done.

The Tigers’ first-year coach, Aimee Iverson, said she was glad her team kept fighting despite the heavy odds. While W-MU had 12 different players see the floor, and 11 of those players score, New London has just seven players on the varsity roster.

“One thing I was proud of is the girls never gave up,” Iverson said. “They played the full game, and they never got down on themselves either.”

K. Malone led the Wolves with 10 points, three assists and two blocked shots. Ky. Townsley had nine points. Melina Oepping finished with eight points. J. Malone scored seven.

Farrah Nelson finished the game with six point and a team-leading seven rebounds for W-MU. Bradie Buffington had six points. Keetyn Townsley finished with five. Jami Wilkerson ended the game with four points and four steals. J. Buffington and Madie Anderson scored two points apiece and Ali Cockerham scored one.

“Depth is a great thing to have,” said W-MU head coach Mitch Wachs. “My struggle is going to be figuring out how to use it.”

Williams led the Tigers with 12 points. Marah Hartrick had eight. Natalie Burden score four. Ashlyn McSorley had three, and Sophie Malott ended with two.