NEWBERRY — An all-around team effort emphasized by 20+ point performances from Rob Valentine and Marshall Lange helped Newberry cruise past the Lions 111-99 in their first home game of 2018.
Four players – Valentine, Lange, James Stepp and Max Miller – each ended the night in double figures with Valentine coming alive in the second half to score 20 of his team-high 26 points.
Everyone on Newberry’s sideline contributed during the contest, giving the Wolves 76 bench points compared to 21 from the Lions.
The Lions would notch nine points and make four of their last five field goals to make it 59-53 coming out of the half. A layup from Mars Hill’s Bennett Wilson closed the gap to five, 60-55, followed by a quick 7-0 streak from the Wolves that included a trey from Jabrie Bullard.
Both teams exchanged baskets, but a 10-3 streak from Newberry punctuated with a Bullard dunk swung momentum in the Wolves’ favor and forced a Lions’ timeout with the 86-68 score. The Wolves led by as much as 20, but Mars Hill retaliated late in the second and a jump shot from Lions’ Austin Gilyard put them within 10 with 1:40 left on the clock. Valentine would score the Wolves’ last six points off of free throws to seal the victory.
Miller grabbed a team-high nine rebounds with Quaman Burton following close behind with eight.
Mars Hill led for just under four minutes in the first half before a dagger from Nick Dietrich gave the Wolves the 12-10 edge at 14:46. Newberry continued to pour it on with a 19-4 run that saw the Wolves going 5-for-5 from the floor. The Lions would return with six straight points before a layup from Jamaal Satisfield sparked a 15-2 burst in the ensuing two minutes to make it 40-22. Mars Hill had a 6-2 burst followed by a scoring drought from that allowed Newberry to push their lead to 55-42 going in halftime.
Newberry converted on 26 of their 40 free throw attempts during the game for 65%. In comparison, the Wolves had 42 attempts from three-point range.