CLAREMONT — Trailing by 16 points with their season on the line, the Stevens girls put it all together and rallied for a 53-47 win over Newport in a girls basketball game Thursday night at the Carr Gymnasium.
Stevens began the night at 6-9 and in the 18th spot in Division II which has 16 teams qualify for the tournament. With three games left, the Stevens coaching staff felt it had a good chance of making the postseason with two wins and were a lock if they ran the table. Consequently, a lot was at stake Thursday night and it did not look good when the Cardinals fell behind 23-7 with 4:50 to go in the second quarter.
“I just stayed cool,calm and collected,” said Stevens coach Ivy Condon.
And so did her team as they outscored the Tigers 10-2 the rest of the second period and 11-2 to start the third quarter, pulling ahead for the first time when Abigail Faro hit a three to break a 27-27 tie in a period the Cardinals outscored Newport 25-11 and take the lead for good.
“The first 12 minutes was as good as we played all season,” said Newport coach Ross Dole whose Tigers are in a four-game week and will play its third game in three nights when Fall Mountain comes to Newport tonight. The Tigers will go into the finale at 3-14.
Stevens has a game tonight as well with a long ride to Timberlane before concluding the season at home next Tuesday with Kearsarge.
If there was one thing that turned the game around for the Cardinals was it defense and better shot selection, The defense enabled the Cards to keep The Tigers from getting offensive runs together and with the decision for better shot selection enabled the taller Cardinals to wear down the Tigers and start scoring from underneath.
And then there was Sydney Miller. The senior was scoreless in the first half, but had 16 points in the second half including four from beyond the arc in the game-changing third quarter.
Stevens looked like it was out for exercise instead on a tourney chase as it had one field goal in the first quarter while Newport in one of those games against a rival that could salvage something of a not-so-hot sean was clicking, leading 12-3 after one quarter and 23-7 before the roof caved in.
“We’ve had a tendency to have lapses all year,” said Dole.
Newport got a 26-point game from Grayson Beaulieu, but no other Tiger had more than six points,
Besides Miller’s double figure night the Cardinals got 13 from freshman Alyssa Paquette.