Newaygo downs Big Rapids 56-35

Big Rapids guard Ariana Costie races down the court for a fast break opportunity during Monday’s game. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — Following last Friday’s 43-35 rivalry win over Reed City, the Big Rapids girls basketball team was hoping to keep the momentum rolling through Monday’s game against Newaygo.

The Lions squashed that plan with a 56-35 win over the Cardinals at Big Rapids High School.

“My kids worked hard,” head coach Jessica Haist said. “We got some good second, third, fourth looks at the bucket. They just didn’t go in.”

The Lions led by as many as 15 in the first half when Jaylee Long hit a stepback 3-pointer to put Newaygo up 22-7. A 3-pointer from Big Rapids’ Megan Mackall in the closing seconds of the first half cut the deficit to 26-14 at halftime.

Big Rapids showed no quit as a Celia Beistle 3-pointer pulled the Cardinals within eight points (27-19) early in the third quarter. But the Lions had an answer for everything. They took a 38-24 lead into the fourth quarter and used back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 44-26 early in the quarter.

A Jaxi Long 3-pointer gave the Lions a 51-30 lead. The Lions led by as many as 23.

Mackall and McKenna tallied 11 points apiece to lead the Cardinals.

“We just have to keep working and keep getting better,” Haist said. “Holly (McKenna) has to do a lot and I thought that a lot of kids stepped up. Josie (Prince) played great defense the whole game. Megan (Mackall) played a great game down on the boards and took the ball to the basket.

“We have to keep celebrating the little things and hope that we keep getting better.”

Big Rapids (5-11, 3-9) will look to put Monday’s game in the rearview mirror when it hosts rival Chippewa Hills (3-12, 1-10) tonight at 7 p.m.

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