A night after chasing Tipton most of the evening in a Hoosier Conference loss, Northwestern’s girls basketball team controlled the action throughout Wednesday night in a 58-32 non-conference victory over visiting Oak Hill.
“I knew coming into [Wednesday] night’s game our legs might not be fresh obviously with [Tuesday] night’s game against Tipton and coming back right away, and we’re still shorthanded player-wise,” NW coach Kathie Layden said. “I really felt like we played well as a team and players stepped up, knocked down some shots.
“Ashley Newell ended up with eight points, three assists and three rebounds. I thought she had a good game. We talked about when teams are playing defense a certain way, we have to take what they give us and they were leaving her open at times. She created a couple shots for herself off the dribble. I thought she did a really good job.”
Oak Hill concentrated its forces on McKenna Layden and Ellie Boyer. McKenna Layden scored a game-high 30 points to pace the Tigers (8-5) and Boyer scored 10. Joan Easter, Bailey Henry and Lexi Hale combined for 10 points.
“Ellie and McKenna both, [the Golden Eagles] were really putting a lot of pressure defensively on them and I thought they handled themselves very well,” Kathie Layden said. “I thought we made some really good passes to them, but I thought our movement was good. McKenna definitely shot the ball well, Ellie did a good job of getting her the ball too and defensively Ellie did a really good job too. We had her for six steals.”
McKenna Layden hit 9 of 11 shots from the field and 11 of 12 from the free throw line. She matched her career scoring high, which she had set just four days earlier against Logansport.
Northwestern had 14 assists on 22 baskets with McKenna Layden dishing four and Newell, Henry and Hale notching three each. McKenna Layden added six rebounds while Easter and Hale had five each.
The Tigers got a feel for the game early, then scored nine points in less than three minutes to close the first quarter and take a 19-8 lead into the first break. Easter capped the opening quarter with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Tigers and the home side maintained that momentum in the second quarter, pushing the lead out to 35-18 at halftime.
“We got a couple easy baskets, I thought we had some transition points that helped, not letting them set up in the defense,” Kathie Layden said. “Trying to figure out defensively who they were guarding, when they were guarding them and making the extra pass maybe for a wide-open layup rather than forcing a shot made a big difference in the first half.”
Oak Hill (5-12) got 10 points from guard Nikki Alston, eight from Kate Hornocker and five each from Carlee Biddle and Trenti Thurman.