Gleason’s buzzer-beater gives Newton 38-36 OT win over Troy Christian


TROY — Newton girls basketball team’s 5-1 senior guard Camryn Gleason may be the smallest player on the court.

But, there is no questioning her heart or her ability to stand tall in the biggest moments.

So, with the Indians and Troy Christian tied at 36 in the closing minute of overtime, it was no coincidence that Newton coach Ryan Fiely looked to put the ball in Gleason’s hands.

And she delivered with a buzzer-beater to give the Indians a 38-36 win.

As the clock went under 10 seconds, Fiely called timeout.

“The plan was to get her the ball on the inbounds,” Fiely said. “But, plan B worked too.”

Emma Szakal was dribbling at the top of the key when she spotted Gleason in the corner.

As the clock ran down, Gleason drove into the heart of the Eagles defense — but a spin move created enough space for her to bank the ball in as the buzzer sounded and give the Indians a victory in a game they never led until the overtime.

“I had no idea how much time I had,” Gleason said. “I just knew I had to drive in and shoot. It is something we work on in practice all the time. It was an amazing feeling to see the shot go in. It is not my first buzzer beater, but the first one this year.”

And she gave her teammates all the credit.

“I am just proud of them,” she said. “They worked so hard. I am just happy for all my teammates. This win is going to give us so much energy in practice tomorrow and in our games later this week.

It was roller coaster game from the start.

Troy Christian would open up leads, only to see Newton rally.

The Eagles led 10-9, 20-14 and 26-22 at the first three quarter breaks and were up 32-26 with 3:47 to go.

“We went to a small lineup in the fourth quarter and I think that made a difference,” Fiely said. “And I thought Arianna Vanus did a great job defensively on their big girl (6-2 Sarah Johnson). We don’t win without her defense.”

Newton’s only tie in regulation was at 14-14.

Sarah Johnson had given Troy Christian a 34-30 lead with two free throws with 2:07 remaining, before Gleason dished to Charli Smith for a basket to make 34-32 with 1:43 to go.

Gleason would then score Newton’s final six points of the night.

With 30 seconds to go, she drove under the basket, spun and banked a shot in to tie it at 34.

“Camryn (Gleason) does a great job of creating shots,” Fiely said.

With 17.7 seconds to go, Smith tied up Troy Christian for a jump ball to give Newton possession, but a final shot was off the mark.

“We had double digit turnovers in both halves,” Troy Christian coach Tony Ferraro said. “You can’t do that and expect to win.”

Troy Christian got the tip in overtime, but had a turnover in the first 10 seconds.

Newton then held the ball for almost three minutes.

The Indians missed five shots, but got the rebound every time.

With 1:11 remaining, Gleason was fouled a calmly sank both free throws for Newton’s first lead of the game at 36-34.

But, Abby Brookhart scored for the Eagles with 40 seconds to go to tie the game, setting up the dramatic finish.

“The girls are starting to believe,” Fiely said. “This is two games in a row where we have come back to win.”

For Ferraro, there is no time to dwell on the loss.

“Sometimes, you just have to give their senior (Camryn Gleason) credit,” Ferraro said. “She made a play. We didn’t do a good job boxing out (on Newton’s first possession in overtime).”

Gleason finished with 17 points, while Reese Hess had nine points and Szakal had five rebounds and seven steals.

Layla VanCulin pulled down nine reboundsfor the Indians.

Sarah Johnson had a double-double for Troy Christian with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Brooklyn Lavy scored eight points and had seven rebounds, while Jocey Hill and Jewell Myers both scored six points. Kathleen Johnson grabbed six rebounds.

Newton was 15 of 56 from the floor for 27 percent and six of 11 from the line for 55 percent.

Troy Christian was 15 of 43 from the floor for 35 percent and six of 11 from the line for 55 percent.

Newton won the battle of the boards 31-28 and had 25 turnovers to Troy Christian’s 24.

Newton, 3-2, will travel to Tri-Village Thursday and Troy Christian, 2-3, will play at Miami East Thursday.

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