The Newberry Panthers were looking to break a four-game losing streak going into Tuesday’s game against Dixie County. Newberry’s offense sparked in the second quarter and was complete dominance from there on out. The Panthers beat Dixie County 50-26 to put their record at 11-8 for the season.
Pregame warmups here at the Newberry v.s. Dixie County girls varsity basketball game. Newberry enters this game (10-8) on the season with Dixie County (6-8). pic.twitter.com/sRnpITcaqd
— gabriela vitale (@gabyvitalee) January 26, 2022
The Panthers knew they needed to start this game off strong to get ready for districts coming up. Newberry opened up the first score of the game with a two-pointer by sophomore, Natreana Akanni, but Dixie County responded right away to tie it 2-2. This quarter went back-and-forth between teams balancing the score.
After Newberry scored on a few layups, the Bears scored on half their free throws to tie it again 6-6. Newberry started to struggle on offense and missed a few key shots to put them ahead. That was until #24, Deasia Bryant, scored 2 points on a layup and the Panthers closed out the quarter scoring five unanswered points to make it 11-6.
A Near Perfect Second Quarter
The Bears started off the second quarter with a layup to settle the score at 11-8. Newberry’s head coach, Dameon Hughes, needed to reset his team and called a timeout with 6:49 minutes remaining on the clock. This sparked a near perfect second quarter for the Panthers proceeding to go on a 15-3 run to break open the game.
The star of the game, #35 Jailyn Johnson, scored 13-of-the-15 points for the Panthers, thanks to two beautiful stretch passes by Kemari Robinson and Bryant. The Panthers defense was stellar this quarter and had a huge impact in their overall win.
“High-low!” Coach Hughes shouted as the Panthers ended their point streak.
Dixie County ended the quarter scoring on one of their free throw shots, ending the half with a score of 26-9.
— gabriela vitale (@gabyvitalee) January 25, 2022
Newberry continued to stay on top this quarter, extending its lead to 34-9 with 6:32 minutes left. The Panthers showed great offense and Johnson continued to prevail. Dixie County struggled with a pair of traveling calls that Newberry capitalized on. With 3:37 left on the clock, the score sat at 40-11, Newberry scored two more on a pair of free throws by Akanni.
Dixie County went on to score the only three-pointer of the game with 2:36 left on the clock. The Bears scored two more and ended the third 42-16. Newberry’s team continued to show-out this quarter and looked forward to holding the lead.
Securing the Win
Dixie County opened the fourth quarter making both its free throw shots. Newberry’s Johnson, got an and-one, but missed the free throw. Johnson came back and scored two to extend the lead 46-18. After the Panthers scored another pair of points, Dixie County sparked something in their offense and went on a 8-2 run, but it wasn’t enough for the Bears. Newberry took this game winning 50-26.
An Inside Look
The key factor of the Panthers win was how they played in the second quarter. Hughes, gives an insight on what sparked his team in the second quarter.
Newberry’s Johnson had an outstanding game, when asked what was clicking for her on the court, she responded.
“Teamwork, that’s it.”
After the Panthers secured the win, Johnson explains what she is looking forward to for the rest of the season.
With Tuesday’s win, Newberry settles at 11-8 with districts coming up. The Panthers know they need to stay on top of their game to be ready for the postseason. Newberry hosts Bronson on Thursday at 6 p.m. and travels to Williston on Friday at 6 p.m.
“I expect us to play the same exact way going into the end of the season, onto districts next week.” said Coach Hughes.