Bitsilly leads Newcomb to semis with win over McCurdy

Matthew Asher, Carlsbad Current-Argus
Matthew Asher/Current-Argus
Newcomb’s Tracey Bryant makes a fadeaway jumper against McCurdy’s Ulbado Barela during Wednesday’s 2A state quarterfinals at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

RIO RANCHO  — Newcomb's motto this year has been "Heart Over Height,” and the Skyhawks certainly showcased that motto in tonight’s 55-41 2A quarterfinals win over McCurdy.

NHS will play in its first state semifinals in school history.

How it happened

From the start, Newcomb (28-2) took the lead and didn’t look back.

Newcomb forced 26 turnovers and scored 34 points in the paint. The NHS bench added 26 points. 

The only statistic McCurdy (23-6) had the edge was a 6-3 advantage on second-chance points.

Turning point

There were two moments that allowed the Skyhawks to build momentum.

In the second quarter, Shannon Bitsilly intercepted a pass at mid-court, got the fast-break layup and the and-one to put Newcomb up 19-11.

Deontay Begay then hit a corner 3 to close out the third quarter, giving NHS a 42-27 lead after three quarters.

They said it

"We work on drive-kicking all the time. That's our strength. Deontay didn't get a lot of looks like he used to. I told him to keep his hands ready. Luckily his brother (Deondre Begay) has a good touch and kicked it out to him. I think that got him started because he got another one a couple minutes later in the fourth quarter. We love the 3-ball. That's one of our strengths."

— Dominique Richardson, Newcomb head coach

"The whole season we've been controlling ourselves. We were confident we had the game in the bag because we stuck to Coach's game plan, and it worked."

— Deontay Begay, Newcomb junior guard

Stat leaders

Shannon Bitsilly led Newcombs with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Deontay Begay and Deion Johnhat combined for 21 points.

McCurdy’s Andres Martinez had 12 points, while, Ernesto Martinez added 10 points.

Next up

Newcomb will face Mesilla Valley in the 2A semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Albuquerque.

Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.