The New London Wildcats started out strong in the first quarter in Friday night’s varsity basketball game, taking the lead over Monroeville Eagles and kept the upper hand throughout the game.
New London pushed ahead of Monroeville in the Firelands Conference game, 44-37, to score another win in the league.
The Wildcats are now 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the FC, leaving the Eagles winless in the FC, 0-6 and 2-6 overall.
New London scored five more points than their opponents’ seven in the first quarter.
Monroeville kept the game close in the second period though, racking in two more points than the Wildcats, for a halftime score of 22-19, with New London keeping the lead.
The Eagles’ Cage Roby and Kyle Kluding both scored nearly one-third of the team’s points; both had 12 points.
Monroeville coach Zac Reer said the team “played well.”
It was Roby’s second of two free-throw shots that allowed the Eagles to take the only lead over the Wildcats in the third quarter — the only lead the team had through the night.
But New London didn’t allow it to stay that way for long, ending the third quarter in the lead at 34-32.
New London’s Cory Haswell scored more than half of the team’s 44 total points as well as half of the team’s points from the free-throw line. He had 22 total points.
Wildcats coach Tom Howell was impressed with the senior’s efforts.
“Scoring-wise, Haswell really took that into his hands tonight,” Howell said. “It’s the first game he’s really taken the bull by the horns, so to speak.”
Talking about the team’s 35 rebounds, the coach said: “The team did a pretty good job on the boards.”
Howell said his players’ turnovers were “something we have to work on.”
“They missed a lot of easy shots going into halftime,” he added.
Howell said he intends to continue to work on improving and “just take it one game at a time.”
In the final period, the teams grappled to grab the lead.
Monroeville worked hard to tie the game up a couple times, but New London ultimately charged ahead, doubling the Eagles’ five points, ending the game in a close win.
The Wildcats are scheduled to play tonight at Hillsdale in non-league action.
The Eagles are at Mapleton Friday in FC play.