NHS girls clinch region title, improve to 11-8

Wilson Senn For The Observer

February 10, 2014

PROSPERITY — The Newberry High School Lady Bulldogs kept the math simple Friday night. Win and you’re in.

The ladies avoided potential tie-breaking scenarios, sweeping Ninety Six to claim their second straight region championship under head coach Melissa Mendenhall.

After seeing the wrong end of the scoreboard for a majority of the first half in their contest, the Lady Bulldogs garnered the potential to host as many as three playoff games as the top seed in their playoff bracket with their 64-58 home victory on Senior Night.

Ninety Six, which came in to the game ranked eighth, showed Newberry they were not going to make it easy for the Lady Bulldogs to win their fifth region title in their 10 years as an AA level school. Ninety Six led 18-15 after the first quarter and led 29-27 at the half.

Newberry took the lead as seven NHS players outscored Ninety Six 19-12 in the third quarter. The Ninety Six had one more run in them in the fourth quarter, though.

Mixing outside shooting with tenacious interior defense, they cut the NHS lead to six with less than a minute remaining.

At that point the NHS defense locked up the region title as Ninety Six turned the ball over with 37 seconds to go on an out-of-bounds play. Fourteen seconds later, NHS drew a charging foul and the resulting free throws put the game away 23.8 seconds to play.

Kelsey Felks and team’s lone senior, Arnasia Boyd, scored in each of the four quarters as they finished with 16 and 14 points respectively.

Tyshiria Bates added14 points. Nigeria Davis saw seven points go in while Esha Mathis scored six.

Fatima Sims contributed four points and Octavia Grandy-Goodman rounded out the scoring with three points.

The win was the tenth straight in 2014 for Newberry and improved their record to 11-8.

Newberry travels to Batesburg-Leesville on Tuesday and concludes its regular season Thursday night with a trip to rival Mid-Carolina.