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A bright spot for New Prairie

February 2, 2019

SOUTH BEND — Things haven’t always gone the way Sydney Meyers hoped they would this girls basketball season. The same could be said for her New Prairie teammates.

But when she gets hot – make that, when they get hot – you better not take the Cougars lightly.

“We’re turning this thing around. We’ve got our confidence back. We’re in this to win it,” said Meyers after New Prairie’s dominating 55-34 victory over Jimtown in the opening game of the Class 3A girls basketball sectional at South Bend Washington.

Meyers led the way, scoring 17 points, snaring seven rebounds and making a dozen steals Friday night as New Prairie (5-19) and advanced to this evening’s sectional semifinals.

The Cougars face Class 3A No. 2 Mishawaka Marian (19-3), a team that already beat them by 29 points on Dec. 11.

But that was then.

“No matter what anybody expects, you have to play hard and see what happens,” said Meyers of this evening’s daunting task. “We’re not the same team we were then.”

Taylor Nelson chipped in 14 and Jordan Winters added 11 for the Cougars, who led the contest from start to finish.

A 10-0 run – which started with about a minute remaining in the first quarter, and lasted for a couple minutes in the second – allowed New Prairie to break open the contest. It was 26-14 with 2:41 remaining in the first half.

Jimtown closed to within five points early in the third period, but an 11-4 run keyed by baskets from Maddie McSurley and Allison Pavlick pushed New Prairie back to a 37-25 lead by the third-quarter break.

The Cougars feasted on 31 Jimtown turnovers, with a big chunk of those being steals by Meyers, who would step in front of a Jimmies pass and then hustle down the floor and score a transition layup.

“I was keying on their passing lanes,” said the 5-foot-11 junior. “That was my role tonight, and I think I did a good job.”

“That exemplifies the kind of defense we want to see,” said New Prairie coach Todd Dermody. “Sydney played one of her best games of the season, I think.”

Jimtown (1-22) got 17 points from junior Jamie Lawson. No other Jimmie scored more than four.

New Prairie’s biggest problem was a string of 10 straight missed free throws, including 0-for-8 in the third quarter. The Cougars can’t afford to do that again if they are to have any chance against Marian.

“We have proven that this team can play basketball at a high level for a short period of time,” said Dermody. “To beat Marian, we will have to do it for an entire game.”

In the other first-round contest Friday, John Glenn defeated Culver Girls Academy, 55-48.

Class 3A South Bend Washington Sectional

New Prairie 55, Jimtown 34

Sydney Meyers had 17 points and 12 steals for the Cougars.

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