01152022 Newport's Skylar Nelson

Newport’s Skylar Nelson gets in the face of Fall Mountain’s Nora Dunnigan during Wednesday’s Wildcat win.

NEWPORT — Fall Mountain has a tournament tested team that is looking to return to Keene State College for playoff action as they improved to 7-0 with a win over a very young but scrappy Newport team.

Matt Baird-Torney’s crew made the game look so easy with Avery Stewart and Makenna Grillone ripping the net from the outside while Nora Dunnigan and Sydney McAllister crushed the glass. Sprinkle in freshman guard Clara Stewart and you have the recipe for a very good basketball team.

“This is our time,” said Grillone as Fall Mountain outscored the Tigers in each quarter on Tuesday.

Newport is full of underclassmen with freshman Maddox Lovely, Taylor Fellows, and Skylar Nelson leading the charge.

“We are very hard on ourselves almost to a fault. We don’t give up and play tough. That’s what I like about this team,” said Riley Skarin as the senior finally saw some game action after an ankle injury in the first game of the season sidelined her until Wednesday. “It felt great to be back on the floor.”

Newport kept things interesting in the early going as Tanya Sanchez and Lovely kept the Tigers within reach but once A. Stewart and Grillone got going, the game moved very quickly for the young Tigers. Fall Mountain jumped out with a 10-0 run in the first three minutes of the second quarter as the Wildcat press and offensive rebounding spelled trouble for Ross Dole’s Tigers.

“We need to grow and not worry about making mistakes,” said Dole as Fall Mountain headed into the break leading 33-16. “If we have the shot we need to pull the trigger.”

“Newport is a hard-nosed team and they made us work for everything,” Baird-Torney said. “Our hi-low game did well tonight and our unselfishness is great to watch.”

Sanchez and Fellows dropped in a couple of quick hoops to start the second half then Fall Mountain responded with a very good inside attack featuring McAllister and Dunnigan who dropped in the next eight points to push the lead to 41-20.

“We are solid from top to bottom,” said Grillone as Fall Mountain improved to 7-0 with a 51-25 win. “We push ourselves so hard in practice that when it’s game time, we’re ready.”

Grillone led all scorers with 13 points while A. Stewart dropped in 11 points and Dunnigan ended up with 10 points.

Newport was led by Sanchez with eight points and Fellows with six points.

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