CAREY - For a while, it was good to be a Draper on Thursday night.
Bev (Draper) Turnbell won $234 in the 50-50 drawing at halftime of the New Riegel-Carey girls basketball game.
Meanwhile, her niece, Hannah Draper scored Carey's first 13 points and helped the Blue Devils cut 15-point deficit to five by halftime, 25-20.
But the Drapers' good fortune, and subsequently Carey's chances of winning, ended in the second half as New Riegel downed the Blue Devils, 48-40.
"We stayed with our game plan. It wasn't always pretty but I thought we did everything pretty well except shoot foul shots," New Riegel coach Steve Lucius said.
New Riegel jumped out to a 17-2 lead late in the first quarter thanks in part to tepid shooting by the Blue Jackets (7-1, 4-0 Midland Athletic League) and horrendous shooting by the Blue Devils (7-1, 3-1 MAL). By the time the buzzer sounded on the first quarter, New Riegel was up 17-5 thanks of 8 of 14 shooting and forcing four Carey turnovers. The Blue Devils didn't their own cause with a 2 of 14 shooting effort.
New Riegel 48, Carey 40
New Riegel (7-1, 4-0): Taylor Arbogast 3-3-10; Taylor Kirian 7-0-14; Kara Scherger 3-2-8; Lauren Ladd 3-1-7; Ebony Baynard 0-0-0; Abby Cassidy 2-2-6; Morgan Noftz 1-1-3. Totals: 19-9-48.
Carey (7-1, 3-1): Hannah Tong 3-2-8; Sydney Wentling 0-0-0; Makenzie Wentling 1-0-2; Haley Hoepf 0-0-0; Ali Rymer 3-3-9; Logan Johnson 0-0-0; Gwen Wentling 1-0-2; Dana Newell 0-0-0; Hannah Draper 6-2-19. Totals: 14-7-40.
New Riegel1781211 - 48
Carey5151010 - 40
Field goals: New Riegel 19-48; Carey 14-60.
3-point goals: New Riegel 1-6 (Arbogast); Carey 5-29 (Draper 5).
Foul shots: New Riegel 9-25; Carey 7-9.
Rebounds: New Riegel 45 (Ladd 13, Cassidy 9); Carey 42 (Tong 14, Rymer 8).
Turnovers: New Riegel 13; Carey 15.
"(It was) really huge. I couldn't ask for a better start," Lucius said. "We came out on fire. We were executing. We were shooting well. It was a fantastic start."
Carey coach Phil Vaughn said that was the difference.
"They got on us big and we couldn't catch up," Vaughn said. "(It was) their pressure. We try to practice that to try to prepare for it but their pressure got us down early."
The shooting cooled for New Riegel in the second quarter (3 of 14 from the field), which combined with Carey's effectiveness at the line (5 of 6), allowed the Blue Devils to cut it to five by half.
"I knew we were going to cool off. We couldn't shoot that way the whole game," Lucius said of his team's first quarter shooting. "They're a very quality team so we knew they were going to come back and tighten this thing up. We answered, I think, every challenge, every time they made a little run, hit a 3, got a putback."
Draper, who finished with a game-high 19 points, had significantly cooled by the second half and was pulled early in the third after a few misfires.
"At the end of the second, she knew she was hitting and she started to force a little bit," Vaughn said. "We talked about it at halftime. It's tough to keep that pace up."
She came back later in the quarter and her 3-pointer helped Carey keep the margin at single digits heading into the final quarter, 37-30.
"It's not like we didn't know she was a shooter. She scored 25 on us last year and hit like five treys," Lucius said. "She can really light it up. We were having some confusion (on our defense on her). We went over the coverage and moved people around a little bit to make sure we knew where was and got out and got a hand in her face."
Hannah Tong's basket and free throw cut it to six, 41-35, with 2:48 left but Carey could get no closer despite the Blue Devils fouling New Riegel every trip down the floor. The Blue Jackets went 7 of 19 from the line in the final quarter, finishing the night 9 of 25.
"I told them we have to be ready to go every time we get a rebound. We have to push. We have to be aggressive going down the court and we toss the ball away a couple of times," Vaughn said.
Lucius said he's not sure why his team has struggled so mightily from the line.
"We never had a team lower than 65 percent and I think we're right around 50 right now, which is a little mind boggling because we have good shooters. I think you get a full house. You get pressure and you get tighter maybe and don't stay with your normal routine. I think that's got to be (why we're not shooting well)."
Taylor Kirian had a team-high 14 points in the victory and Taylor Arbogast added 10 points and eight rebounds.
New Riegel had a slight edge on the glass, 45-42, with Lauren Ladd hauling in 13 and Abby Cassidy snaring nine.
"I'm really pleased with our defense and really pleased with our rebounding," Lucius said. "They're a really strong rebounding team. That concerned us but I thought our posts played big. Our guards played very well and handled the basketball."
Tong topped Carey's efforts with 14 boards and five blocks while tossing in eight points. Ali Rymer added eight boards and nine points.
The loss broke a first-place tie for the two teams. New Riegel sits a half-game ahead of Calvert who is 3-0 in the league while Carey falls a game back tied with Seneca East in third place.
"We have four games down. We have six to go in the league. We have to get better," Lucius said. "The league is as good as it's been in my 28 years. There are so many quality teams and there's a long way to go."