Victory is in the eye of the beholder

Sonja Karp


he scoreboard doesn’t always tell the story of a game, and last Friday proved that beyond any doubt.

The Lady Dogies lost their game against Douglas by a score of 41-72, but the game was a solid victory for Newcastle in every way but the tally of points at the end.

You may be wondering how a 31-point loss may be considered a victory, so let me explain the many reasons why it is so.

The Lady Bearcats have an imposing team, filled with talent, who has only lost one of their 21 games this season. That loss came at the hands of a squad from Lynwood, Calif., during the Energy Classic Tournament in Gillette over Christmas break.

Since that tournament, Douglas has defeated their opponents soundly, implementing the mercy rule of a running clock in every contest. At least, in every contest until Friday.

The Lady Dogies headed into the game with full understanding of the juggernaut that are the Lady ‘Cats, but you would never know it to watch them battle for 32 minutes.

It was reminiscent of David and Goliath — especially when you watched our girls being manhandled by their 6-foot, 4-inch post, Allyson Fertig, under the basket.

Sara Sweet and Mercedes Voelker had to pick themselves up off the floor more times than I count after trying to defend her, or fight her for a rebound.

Shelby Tidyman drove fearlessly to the hoop, and managed to score some layups despite Fertig’s ominous presence and her innate ability to swat away shots like they are flies.

Ally Cass and Jaylen Ostenson put up floaters in the lane to keep the ball out of her reach.

Freshman, Tiernan Stanton experienced a baptism by fire as she was tasked with trying to get in Fertig’s way and slow her down.

The Lady Dogies had to endure one of the most smothering full court and half court defenses that they will ever see throughout most of the contest.

Despite the daunting defense, the team had only 22 turnovers on the night, and they turned the Lady Cats over 19 times. They tied Douglas twice early on in the first quarter, and the biggest lead the Converse County team had was 36 points. 

As such, Newcastle made the number one ranked team in 3A play an entire game without a running clock. 

The Lady Dogies also became only the second 3A team in the state to score over 40 points against Douglas.

Their radio guy complimented the girls, saying that was the best game he’s seen played against the Lady Bearcats since the Energy Classic.

They went hard for the entire contest, and fought with everything they had. 

And they had fun!

There were smiles on their faces throughout because they knew they were giving Douglas a game and making them work for win. 

All of these things were clear victories for the Lady Dogies, and when it came down to it, the score at the end of the game showed what Newcastle accomplished. 

To an outsider, it may look as though it was a pretty crushing defeat, but anyone who knows 3A East basketball understands what the squad was able to do in that game.

And that is a lot to be proud of in my book.


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