Lady Goldbacks roll over Kingston, 63-44
His team was getting ready, and the Lady Goldbacks seemed to be having fun during their warm-up at home against Kingston, Thursday, Jan. 31. But Rich Desiderio, Newburgh’s coach, did not forget about the first time his team played the Tigers Dec. 18 and lost 47-38.
“We did not play well,” he said.
Last week, after winning four on the road and making it to .500, 7-7, the Lady Goldbacks took that momentum into the first half and led 44-17 at the half, while going 8/9 at the foul line during the first two quarters.
After Kingston went on a 13-2 third quarter run, pushing Newburgh around with their speed, the Lady Goldbacks took back the game and won decisively 63-44.
“That was the best first half we’ve played since I’ve been here,” said Desiderio, now in his second season coaching the Lady Goldbacks.
Taylor Brummell made a three-point play, a score and foul shot, to give Newburgh a 50-34 lead at the end of the third quarter before leaving the game with a knee injury and leading the team with 17 points.
Katie Cook, who scored 12 points in the game, hit a three-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter to give Newburgh a 53-35 lead, and that gave the Lady Goldbacks the breathing room they needed to play through the rest of the quarter.
Cook said the team’s topsy-turvy season gave her reason to believe they would not fall prey to the Tigers’ second-half game plan.
“I started to remember some of our other games that we had let a lead slip away and wound up losing. But my teammates and I refused to let that happen again,” said Cook. “Our coach got us to slow the game down a little, and yes, there was a humongous sigh of relief as we regained a larger lead in the fourth.”
Desiderio said problems have been isolated on the offense as he works to get the most out of a tired team entering the final month of the season. And he thinks those problems are getting solved.
“I’m big with drills and fundamentals, and I haven’t gone away from that,” said Desiderio. “You saw it pay off.”
Now the team is over .500 at 8-7, and 4-2 in the league with a playoff spot in the horizon.
“We’re in the driver’s seat,” he said.
The Lady Goldbacks will travel to Pine Bush for a 7 p.m. game Friday. Newburgh has already beaten Pine Bush twice this year.
By Bond Brungard