TORRINGTON – For the first time this season, the Torrington Lady Blazers didn’t have to worry about coming from behind to pick up a victory.
On Friday evening, that was the message from coach Jeff Halley to his team before taking to the floor to open conference play against the Newcastle Lady Dogies.
It paid off as Torrington never trailed in the 55-38 win.
The Lady Blazers scored the first four points of the game, but it wasn’t until the final two minutes of the first quarter when sophomore Avery Fox sparked Torrington’s offense with a pair of 3-points.
“We finally got off to a good start,” Halley said. “We had some lulls in there, but you are going to have that with the kids learning. We played better at times tonight.”
It was the first of six triples Fox hit on the night.
“Avery Fox off the bench was phenomenal. She loves to shoot, and this was a game where she can shoot,” Halley said. “Her outside shooting was key for us tonight. We were kind of flat, getting adjusted to their zone. Our whole thing concentrates on pounding the big guys and kicking it back out. When they were playing that tight, our big kids couldn’t get the ball.”
In all, Torrington attempted 38 3-pointers on the night – connecting on only seven.
“Newcastle did what they had to do to beat us. They packed it down. They’ve packed that zone tighter than anyone I’ve ever seen,” Halley said. “Our big kids got a few looks, but our guards were willing to shoot.”
Early in the second quarter, Torrington’s lead was extended to double-digits, Newcastle chipped away at the deficit, cutting the deficit to five midway through the third quarter, forcing the Lady Blazers to use a timeout.
Coming out of the break, Torrington went on a 15-1 run, spanning into the final quarter of play.
Fox led the team with 20 points, while freshman Reece Halley added 11. Junior Sam Hill grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
The Lady Blazers (4-3) will travel to Mitchell, Neb. on Thursday for a 6 p.m. scheduled tipoff. Friday, Torrington travels to Douglas.