HARTINGTON — As the pre-holiday season of basketball winds down, Hartington-Newcastle notched a win for the first time in the young season over Tri County Northeast 54-27 in a game played in Hartington Dec. 13.
“The girls came out and executed the game plan and we were fortunate to hit some shots and get some confidence early,” Lady Wildcat coach Grant Rolfes said. “We defended really well and allowed that to carry us into our offense.”
That defense held the Wolfpack to just a dozen points through the first three quarters.
“I felt like we really disrupted their offense early,” Rolfes said. “It was a good win where we played really well for long stretches.”
One of those stretches was the entire first quarter which saw HNS jump out to a 20-5 lead.
Alivia Morten, who ended with a game-high 25 points, canned three 3-pointers in the first frame and finished the quarter with 12 points.
She would hit another three in the second quarter as the Lady Wildcats went to the locker room at the half with a comfortable, 30-8 advantage.
Hartington-Newcastle kept the heat on in the second half and increased the lead by 12 points in the first eight minutes of the half to head to the final quarter with a 46-12 lead.
Zoey Gratzfeld added 10 points on the night, Mani Lange and McKenzie Bruning added six and Olivia Grutsch tossed in five.
“Overall I thought the girls as a full group really guarded well,” Rolfes said. “We kept them out of rhythm for much of the game.”
HNS was scheduled to close out the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule with a trip to Wakefield to take on the 3-3 Lady Trojans in Lewis & Clark Conference action.
The Lady Wildcats will then head to the Stanton Holiday tournament Dec. 28-29 after the NSAA moratorium.
“This was a nice win for us,” Rolfes said. “Hopefully it will jump start us for the rest of the season.”
TCNE 5 3 4 15 - 27 HNS 20 10 16 8 - 54