Since its last loss on January 16, Newport Central Catholic has reeled off 11-straight victories toward its goal of improving for the Ninth Region Tournament coming up in March. Despite a recent stretch of games where the Thoroughbreds have been largely untested, head coach Ron Dawn believes his team is improving – the latest, a 64-29 win over Beechwood, Saturday night at NewCath.
“We’re focusing on things that we think we’re going to have to do in the tournament,” Dawn said. “Not so much focusing on one team but things we’re going to have to get right in the tournament. We’re going to finish up with three tough ones (Holmes, Louisville Trinity, Conner) but we’re just trying to work on some things we need to get better at,” he said.
Junior Ben Weyer (16 points on six-of-nine shooting) hit two-consecutive threes for the Thoroughbreds to give his team an early 6-0 lead two minutes in, forcing Beechwood to call its first timeout. After a basket by junior JT Toebbe, the Tigers didn’t score again until near the end of the first on a layup by senior Connor Brock. At the conclusion of the opening quarter, the Thoroughbreds led 20-4.
In the second, NewCath stretched its lead further. Senior Zach Pangallo (11 points on four-of-six shooting) missed a three from the corner but was fouled and hit three free throws to give his team a 23-6 advantage. Weyer added another two baskets from beyond the arc to give the Thoroughbreds a 36-8 lead. When senior Grant Moeves tacked on another three, the Tigers called their third timeout of the half with still over two minutes remaining. Brock put the Tigers in double-digits out of the timeout with a three, and a 39-11 score but New Cath added on for a 44-13 halftime lead.
Following Moeves’ two points and layup off a steal, Pangallo provided a quick four points of his own on back-to-back buckets to give the Thoroughbreds a 50-13 lead at the five-minute mark of the third. When NewCath stretched its lead to 38 – at that point its biggest of the night – it called timeout, subbing in reserves Seth Freppon, Brian Anderson, Luke Moeves, John Ludwig and Robert Stoelting.