New Lex was quick to pounce on some early West Muskingum turnovers, but could not hold off a late charge by the Tornadoes who claimed a 52-47 win over the visiting Panthers Tuesday (Feb. 11).
Three quick turnovers by the Tornadoes in the first quarter plus good rebounding contributed to an 8-1 scoring run for New Lex, scoring four points off of West M. turnovers.
Both teams were rebounding well and both saw plenty of chances off the backboard, New Lex made 5-of-13 shots from the floor with seven rebounds while the Tornadoes were just 3-of-13 with six boards.
The offense turned cooler before halftime, the Panthers missed 11 their final 11 shots attempts before the break, creating an opening for the Tornadoes who took advantage, despite shooting just 21 percent from the floor in the first half. West did better at the line, making five out of eight foul shots in the first half. The Tornadoes would take the lead with at the free throw line with 1:16 remaining in the second period and steadily pull away in the third.
A Nick Saxton bucket early in the third quarter would give New Lex the lead one last time (19-18), but the Tornado’s offense finally began to warm up, shooting 50 percent from the floor to take a 36-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
Saxton’s 15 points were a game-high; teammate Caleb Barnette scored 10 points for New Lexington. Erik Engdahl scored 14 points and Colton Pickrell had nine for West Muskingum.
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