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Baltimore County Sports

New Town girls basketball rides defense and game-high 15 points from Nialah Mingo to 46-26 victory over Catonsville

Catonsville's Asaani Offer, right and New Town's Alex Mann chase a loose ball in the second quarter of the Titans' 46-26 victory.

Defense took center stage as host Catonsville and New Town combined for 55 turnovers, but the visiting Titans overcame their 28 miscues with a 46-26 victory, thanks to a game-high 15 points from Nialah Mingo.

The Comets (3-3) trailed 9-7 after Leah Vacin buried their only 3-pointer with 2:20 left in the first quarter, but the Titans (6-3) expanded their lead with a 6-0 run to close the quarter, despite eight turnovers.

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“We had to get a lot of energy and a lot of good defensive stops and then the offense will come,” Mingo said. “We normally start off like that but it doesn’t take long for us to get into it.”

New Town coach Steve Anderson contributed the sloppy start to inaction.

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“We were coming off Christmas break and getting everybody back together,” Anderson said. “We had some girls that were away for Christmas break, we had a couple of practices, but it was just everybody getting the winter break out of their head.”

Mingo scored seven points and reserve Alex Mann added four in the quarter.

In the second quarter, Mingo contributed four and Adasyn Gillen-Bagley came off the bench and canned a 3-pointer to lift the lead to 25-16 at halftime.

Catonsville's Alexis Johnson, right, threads a pass to Asaani Offer past New Town's Adasyn Gillen-Bagley, center, for a basket in the second quarter.

“It’s a team that fully understands that we have some starters and we have some role players and the girls have accepted that they have roles to play and they do a good job when they need to,” Anderson said.

Catonsville senior Asaani Offer had eight of her game-high 10 points in the second quarter.

“She’s a hard worker and she is trying to put the team on her back and that is a hard thing to do,” Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said, praising her consistent rebounding and defense.

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New Town came out of the second half in a higher defensive gear and held the Comets to just four points from Alexis Johnson as the lead swelled to 36-20 after three quarters.

Anderson’s halftime message was simple. “He told us basically to hold them to a number of points,” Mingo said. “We were focusing on stopping the ball and playing good deny defense.”

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Catonsville's Alexis Johnson, right, is defended by New Town's Alex Mann in the Titans' 46-26 victory.

A basket by Zion Baker pushed the lead to 18 early in the third quarter before the Comets cut it to 38-26 with 5:36 left on baskets by Jordan Edwards, Eden McPherson and Offer, but New Town ended the game on an 8-0 run.

Edwards and McPherson led the Comets with four steals each and Mohler knows Edwards’ defense will be key as the season unfolds.

“She is such a nice kid, but she does it effortlessly and it’s not that she is not trying, but she hates to shoot and she hates to dribble, but she can steal the ball and get rebounds,” Mohler said.

Despite the loss, the coach has alternate goals for his squad that has already defeated private schools Mount de Sales and Bryn Mawr.

“I’ve got a great bunch of kids and we talked about it the other night that we are not going to talk wins and losses, we are going to talk about progress and what progress are we making and where do we need to improve and if we do things right we will be competitive all year,” Mohler said. “It’s just about executing and we are just not there, hopefully, we will get there.”


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