March 11, 2014 > Cougars triumph in the ÔBig GameÕ
Cougars triumph in the ÔBig GameÕ
Submitted By MikeÊ Heightchew
In front of a packed house in Newark's in gym on Wednesday, March 5th in one of biggest basketball game that Tri-City high schools have seen in many years. At stake was advancement to the North Coast Section (NCS) basketball finals on March 8th.
The Washington Huskies were riding a great hot stick after beating sixth-ranked DublinÊand then Number Three, College Park,Êto meet Newark for a chance at all the marbles. The Newark Memorial Cougars showed up ready, willing and able, proving they are a force to be reckoned with at the NCS finals.
Newark put on an impressive display of great all-around basketball with speed and defenseÊfrom the starting buzzer. Cougar defense immediately went to work, closingÊdown the paint area. Damien BanfordÊand teammate Mathew ThomasÊset the tone for the game by dominating the middle; BanfordÊhadÊ12 rebounds, Thomas hadÊseven.
The Huskies were forced into a no-win situation as they battled for scoring opportunities but won low percentage shots from the outside; result: the Cougars opened upÊ35-27 lead at the half. As the third quarter started, Cougar offense put the game out of reach, exploding for a 15-3ÊrunÊand a 49-30 margin.
Newark's Joey Frenchwood had a great night under the basket defensively and as an offensive power. He found the basket from anywhere on the court, leading the Newark offensiveÊattack with 19 points. Mathew Thomas added toÊthe defense and offense show by adding 17 points of his own and NewarkÕsÊMicheal Pickney hit three great 3-pointÊshots from the outside endingÊ the night with 16 points.
WashingtonÕs Zach Ghaith scored 16 points and Caleb Baskett put in 15 points in a valiant effort, but the final score was all Cougar. Final score Newark Memorial 72, Washington 60.
The Cougars face Concord in the NCS final after they upset top ranked Montgomery 54-49.