Ayonna Cotten scored seven points over the opening eight minutes of action and New Hanover rolled to a 39-25 victory over West Brunswick in the Mideastern Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats moved to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in league play, while West Brunswick fell to 0-1 in conference and 3-3 on the year.
“We’re still learning to work together as a team and build chemistry, but it’s still good to get that first conference win,” said Cotten, who finished with four steals and three assists. “I think we need to keep working together and learn to play all four quarters.”
New Hanover was relentless in their half-court defense, forcing 10 turnovers in the first quarter to shutout the Trojans 14-0 after the opening period. Cotten put in the game’s first five points and made it a nine-point lead with a steal and coast-to-coast lay-in. An assist from Cotten to Kayleigh Merrell extended the advantage before Julia Allen put West Brunswick on the board with 4:30 remaining in the first half.
Cotten and Merrell shared game-high honors with 10 points apiece as seven different New Hanover players found the scoring column. The Wildcats held a 25-12 advantage on the glass and led by 16 points at the break. Merrell pulled down six rebounds, while Elizabeth Criner scored all five of her points in the second half to go along with six boards.
“I try to set the tone early in the game and get everyone hyped,” Cotten added. “I’ve got to be a better leader on the floor.”
Amaya Marshall hit the game’s first trifecta with under two minutes to play in the third quarter to make it 34-11 in favor of New Hanover. She finished with five points and Amani Muhammed added five rebounds.
Allen had a team-high seven points and Bibi Mercer put in four points to lead West Brunswick.
The Wildcats return to the floor at Dixon on Thursday, Dec. 17. The Trojans entertain North Brunswick on Thursday.
W. Brunswick 0-7-9-9=25
New Hanover 14-9-11-5=39
Hoggard 57 Topsail 41
Emma Haywood led the way with 15 points as Hoggard grabbed a 57-41 win against Topsail on Tuesday night.
The senior drained two treys and went 3-for-5 from the free throw line to pace the Vikings, who improved to 1-0 in conference and 6-1 overall. Mia Boone added 11 points in the winning effort, while Keeley Britt chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds.
Tara Poteat also contributed at the point guard position with seven points, four steals and five assists. Haywood recorded seven steals and Hoggard went 20 of 28 from the charity stripe.
Topsail saw their season opening seven-game winning streak come to an end as the Pirates fell to 7-1 overall and 0-1 in conference. Keri White had a team-high 17 points. Topsail gets back on the floor at Laney on Friday. Hoggard plays host to Ashley.
Ashley 58 South Brunswick 30
Ashley led 34-8 at the break, 51-16 after three quarters of action and extinguished South Brunswick 58-30 to grab the win on Tuesday.
The Screaming Eagles moved to 1-0 in conference and 3-3 overall. South Brunswick dropped to 0-5 this season.
Carolina Forest 50 Laney 36
Jayda Malone had 11 points and Baley Edwards finished with nine for Laney. The Bucs fell to 5-4 overall.