NEW BUFFALO — A week after dropping a 63-47 decision at River Valley, the New Buffalo High School varsity girls basketball team topped the Mustangs 44-36 in the Bison’s Jan. 25 Winterfest game.

Neither team did much scoring in the first quarter, with New Buffalo leading 6-4 after Mary Mayer hit a pair of field goals.

The Bison dominated the second stanza, outscoring the Mustangs 19-3 to carry a commanding 25-7 lead into half-time.

River Valley scored first in the second, on a jumper from Taylor Volstorf.

The Bison then reeled off 16 unanswered points with Mayer tallying eight of them, and Olivia Haskins, Kaitlyn Biela and Nadia Collins also hitting shots. Haskin’s late three-pointer finished the first-half scoring.

Haskins also scored the first points of the third period, opening up a 20-point advantage (27-7).

The Mustangs had cut the margin in half by late in the third thanks to scoring from Haizea Ruiz (eight points) and Allison Schmidt (four points).

Ruiz kept the pressure on as the fourth quarter got rolling, scoring six more points (plus a basket by Hailey Hauch) to make it a 34-29 game.

New Buffalo built its lead back up to double digits (39-29) as Abby Vitale scored through a foul and made the bonus free throw, and then scored off a steal.

River Valley made one last run, with a Tiffany Hyatt hoop and a pair of Ruiz free throws whittling the margin down to 39-33 with 1:07 left in regulation.

It was a free-throw shooting contest from there.

The Bison went 3-for-6 while RV sank 2-of-3 chances.

Both Mayer and Vitale said they were extremely motivated to win the Winterfest game.

New Buffalo coach Curtis Brewster said the Bison haven’t been a third-quarter team all season, and the trend continued on Jan. 25.

“It was good for my girls to come back in the fourth. They played really hard.”

Mayer led a balanced New Buffalo attack with 14 points, Vitale and Haskins had 7 points each, and every player on the roster scored.

Ruiz finished with a game-high 20 points. Volstorf had 7 points and Schmidt scored 5. River Valley was missing two starters, Emma Springer and Jessie Rieth.

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