The New Richmond Lady Lions went on an 11-2 run to end the first quarter and give themselves a 16-10 lead that they would not relinquish, defeating Southern Buckeye Conference National Division leaders Georgetown, 45-37.
“For a long time, I’ve looked up to the program they have at Georgetown and measured ourselves against it,” New Richmond head coach Brad Hatfield said. “It means a lot to know that we’ve brought the program to put it on the same level as teams like Georgetown.”
With the Lady G-Men missing leading scorer Casey Carter due to a pop-fracture in her left hand, Georgetown struggled shooting from the field, going 13-54 from the field (24%).
“She creates a lot of offense for us,” Georgetown head coach Bernie Cropper said of Carter’s absence. “Besides her scoring, she’s a good passer and she could have penetrated that zone, so we missed her.”
As Carter watched from the bench, New Richmond jumped out to 5-0 lead to start the game. Georgetown’s defensive pressure allowed the Lady Lions to utilize back-door cuts to get into the lane.
The Lady G-Men answered the initial onslaught by New Richmond with an 8-0 run of their own to take an 8-5 lead, but New Richmond came back to end the quarter on an 11-2 run that put them ahead for good.
During the run, Sarah Shoemaker accounted for seven of the 11 points as she hit a three-pointer and made two lay-ups.
“She knocked down some big shots in the first half that gave us some confidence and kept us aggressive,” Hatfield said. “Sometimes when we miss shots, we tend to play it too safe and not take the open shot. I thought that was a big difference tonight.”
Shoemaker scored a game-high 16 points.
New Richmond was able to match the defensive intensity of Georgetown in the second quarter as the Lady Lions switched from two-three zone to man-to-man depending on what personnel the Lady G-Men had on the floor.
“When they had at least one post player on the floor, we were going to let Josie (Buckingham) match up with them,” Hatfield said. “If they had five guards, we played zone.”
The New Richmond defense was active, forcing turnovers and getting out on shooters. On the offensive end, Buckingham, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, was draped in the post.
“We wanted to try and be physical with her and push her away from the box,” Cropper said. “Sometimes we’d play behind, sometimes we fronted her, but she was a huge factor with how good of a passer she is.”
As Georgetown concentrated on making life tough for Buckingham in the post, she was able to step out to the elbow and pass from above the defense to cutting teammates.
“She’s really developing in that area,” Hatfield said of Buckingham’s passing ability. “She’s realizing now where teammates are when she’s catching the ball and when there’s three people on her, there’s someone wide open.”
Buckingham finished the game with 10 points.
The Lady G-Men tried to get back into the game by incorporating a three-quarter-court press, but New Richmond’s Bailey Workman did a good job of single-handily breaking the pressure as well as getting to the basket, ending the game with 11 points.
“She’s a speedster,” Hatfield said. “She’s raw athletically, but still developing as a player but when she can use her speed to get out in the open floor, she’s hard to guard.”
The Lady G-Men were unable to get back within reach of New Richmond as the teams traded baskets late in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, both team’s defense stepped up as points became hard to come by.
Georgetown was able to cut the New Richmond lead to six with 2:40 remaining, but the clock was on the Lady Lions’ side as they sealed the game from the foul line.
Both teams sit atop their respective divisions in the SBC and control their own destinies as the season comes to a close.
“It’s a good win for them. Coach Hatfield did a great job,” Cropper said. “They’re an excellent team. But we’re going to try and win our National division, so that’s our immediate goal.”
Georgetown can lock up the National Division with a win at Felicity on Thursday, Feb. 2.
New Richmond plays at Western Brown on Thursday for a chance to avenge their 44-43 loss against the Lady Broncos in early January and sit in the drivers seat of the American Division entering the last week of the season.
Georgetown (15-2) – Hatfield 4 1 11, Kidwell 4 3 12, Whitaker 3 0 7, Jones 0 3 3, Pack 2 0 4. Totals: 13 7 37.
New Richmond (14-3) – Workman 3 4 11, Shoemaker 5 3 16, Rupp 2 0 4, Keets 2 0 4, Buckingham 5 0 10. Totals: 17 7 45.
Halftime: New Richmond 29-21. 3-pointers: G 4 (Hatfield 2, Kidwell, Whitaker); NR 4 (Shoemaker 3, Workman).