Archer’s Autumn Newby (24) drives to the basket for the layup against Parkview’s Vicki Harris (40) during girls basketball action in Lawrenceville Thursday. Archer defeated Parkview 51-42. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)
LAWRENCEVILLE — It may still be too early to anoint Archer as the clear favorite in the Region 8-AAAAAA girls basketball race.
But after their 51-42 win in the first showdown with traditional region power Parkview on Thursday night at Archer, the Tigers (14-1, 7-0) showed the poise of a serious championship contender.
“We did a lot of things well (Thursday) night,” Archer coach Ryan Lesniak said. “We were (also) shown some things we need to work on, but no team is complete on Jan. 9. … We won a close region game with our backs against the wall in the second half.”
In fact, Archer never trailed and led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, and eventually put the game away behind sisters Madison and Autumn Newby, who combined to score all 14 of their team’s points in the fourth quarter.
That doesn’t mean the Tigers cruised, however, as Parkview (11-2, 5-1) fought through a shoulder injury to Genesis Perrymond that kept the Super Six guard all but the first moments of the game, as well as foul trouble to junior post Vicki Harris in the second half to make a run down the stretch.
“It was a three-point game with (less than five) minutes to play, and we didn’t score again,” Panthers coach Kirk Call said. “(Archer) got up early, but we expected that. They’re a quick start team. … We fought the whole time.”
Archer jumped into an early lead despite being forced into 10 first-half turnovers by Parkview’s press.
Amber Skidgel did much of the damage both inside and out, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and drawing fouls inside to get to the line for four free throws as part of her 12-point night, all of which came in the first half.
Madison Newby also contributed by penetrating the lane, including going for a three-point play with 20.4 seconds left in the first quarter to break a tie game and give the Tigers a 13-10 lead after the opening frame.
Autumn Newby then hit a pair of free throws to ignite a a 9-3 run over the final 3:34 of the first half that pushed the Archer advantage to 24-17 by intermission, and the lead grew to as much as 36-22 after a Linsey Marchese layup with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
But Parkview slowly began to turn up the defensive pressure, and pulled to within 37-29 by the end of the period.
That pressure continued into the fourth quarter and resulted in several fast-break opportunities that either wound up as layups or trips to the free-throw line.
A Harris layup in transition started the momentum shift, and Dominque Leonidas added four straight free throws in a 14-second span less than a minute later.
And when Autumn Sizemore drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:46 to play, the Panthers had crawled back to within three points at 41-38.
That’s when Archer turned to the Newbys, particularly junior Madison, who showed her experience as a three-year starter at point guard.
“That’s why Madison’s a Division I basketball (prospect),” Lesniak said of the elder Newby, who finished with game highs of 17 points and eight steals to go along with five rebounds and two assists. “That’s why she’s Super Six. When we need big plays, she makes them.”
After Autumn Newby hit 1 of 2 free throws to push the Archer lead back to 42-38 with 3:35 remaining, Madison Newby came up with perhaps her three biggest plays of the game.
First, she hit a pair of free throws with 3:12 left to give the Tigers even more breathing room at 44-38, she came up with a big steal and got fouled again before hitting two more free throws to push the lead to 46-38 with 1:40 left.
Then after Raven Johnson pulled Parkview to within 46-40 with her driving layup with 1:19 left, the Newby connected on a big inbound play, with Madison finding Autumn driving to the hoop for a layup with 1:09 left that made the lead eight again at 48-40.
Madison then sealed things by hitting 3 of 4 free throws over the final 39.3 seconds.
Autumn Newby finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Skidgel pulled down five rebounds to go with her points, and Cii Cii Marseille tied Autumn Newby for team rebounding honors with nine.
Leonidas and Harris each scored nine to lead Parkview, while Raven Johnson also had eight points and five rebounds for the Panthers and Bernice McGriff pulled down a team-high seven boards.
Archer boys 59, Parkview 52
Kwei Lartey scored a game-high 23 points as the Tigers (7-7, 2-5) came back from a first-half deficit to run past the Panthers (7-8, 1-5).
Archer also got nine points from Jeremiah Buford and eight points from Bill Carr in the victory.
Parker Role scored 17 points to lead Parkview, while Desmond Davis also reached double figures with 13 points and Malik Abraham added 10.