NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo High School boys and girls basketball teams hosted their rivals from River Valley on Feb. 16.
Both home teams prevailed, with the NB girls breaking away from a half-time tie to win 51-38, and the Bison boys transforming a 22-19 second-period advantage into a 79-60 final tally.
In the girls game New Buffalo jumped out to an early 12-5 lead as baskets by Kelsey Corkran and Abby Vitale upped the margin from 8-5.
It was 21-13 midway through the second period when the Mustangs finished the half on an 8-0 run (with Hailey Hauch tallying five of those points) to tie the score at 21-all.
Scores by Nadia Collins, Corkran. Jordan Bryk, Vitale and Ava Mullen helped the Bison go into the fourth quarter ahead 33-27.
New Buffalo went on to out-score their guests 18-11 in the final frame as Collins scored 7 of her 13 points.
“We just have to learn to work as a team again because this is our second game of the season,” Collins said. “Once we got the hang of things and we knew how they were playing we most definitely got more comfortable … and started showing what we have.”
Hauch paced River Valley with a game-high 20 points.
Sophia DeOliveira scored 10 points for NB while Vitale and Corkran each had 8.
New Buffalo used its depth to stay fresh on the court during the contest.
“We’re a really fast team so we’re always trying to go really fast and make the press break,” Vitale said.
On Feb. 22 the Bison girls avenged a season-opening loss by edging Michigan Lutheran 33-31.
Mullen scored 8 points to pace New Buffalo (3-1) while Vitale and DeOliveira each added 6 points.
Brooke Gerlach and Stella Lyons contributed 8 points apiece for the Titans (3-1).
The New Buffalo-River Valley boys game was close in the first quarter as baskets by Josh Seifert, Lennon Lange (a 3-pointer) and Jayden McNabb helped the Mustangs build a 13-11 lead. New Buffalo finished the period on a 10-3 run with Kaden Parmley pouring in six points while Jeremiah Mitchell and Anthony Lijewski added to the scoring.
The Bison had forged a 41-30 advantage by the half-way point as Lijewski had six points and Parmley tallied seven to help build up the margin.
The Bison opened the third frame on a 20-11 tear to forge a 20-point lead (61-41) with Mitchell, Mark Shaw, Lijewski and Parmley contributing points.
The lead never dropped below double digits again.
Parmley paced the Bison with 27 points, Lijewski finished with 24, Shaw tallied 12 points and Mitchell added 9.
Lange (19 points) and Jayden McNabb (15) led the Mustangs in scoring.
Lijewski said the Bison overcame foul trouble to prevail.
“We kept it together and our press really helped us out,” he said, adding that New Buffalo’s transition game on offense was real nice as well.
The 2021 season continued with two local teams picking up their first victories of the young campaign – the River Valley girls topped Lake Michigan Catholic 23-20 on Feb. 19 (Taylor Volstorf scored 8 pants for RV); and the Bridgman girls squad defeated Decatur 33-26 on Feb. 18 (Olivia Tomlin scored 9 points for the Bees).
Other recent scores include:
Feb. 16 (Boys) – Buchanan 61, Bridgman 46
Feb. 17 (Boys) – New Buffalo 78, Countryside 72
Feb 19 – (Boys) – New Buffalo 73, Lawrence 24; Howardsville Christian 48, Bridgman 46; (Girls) – New Buffalo 54, Lawrence 19
Feb. 20 (Boys) – Marcellus 79, River Valley 70
Feb. 22 (Girls) – River Valley 29, Lawrence 22 (Claudia Rebollar paced RV with 8 points)