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Tigers drop No. 9-ranked Eagles

Press Photo by Royal McGregor New England junior forward Ty Nordby, right, dribbles against New Town’s Wayne Fox during a nonconference game on Saturday in New England. The Tigers beat the No. 9-ranked Eagles 55-52.

NEW ENGLAND — New England junior forward Ty Nordby had a tall order Saturday night.

Literally. The 6-foot-2 forward was matched down low against Elijah Grady and Daryl Grady — a set of twins which stand 6-4 and 6-3, respectively.

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Nordby answered the call as the Tigers defeated No. 9-ranked New Town 55-52 during a nonconference game.

“We knew that we had to come out fast and play good defense,” said Nordby, who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “Our coach told us that to win the game we were going to have to be physical down low.”

Despite New Town having a big size advantage in the post, the Tigers managed to take the slight advantage in rebounding at 33-32.

New England head coach Luke Powers said rebounding was going be a key factor. The Tigers didn’t want New Town to get second-chance points.

“The kids really had to go to work,” he said. “We had to compete for rebounds. We knew we weren’t going to dominate the boards. They did a nice job there.”

Nordby’s defensive effort in the post — along with Mason Stang, Daniel Prince and Gavin Fitterer — helped hold the Elijah Grady and Daryl Grady duo to 19 points and six rebounds combined.

The Tigers not only controlled the post, but their perimeter shooters knocked down 3-pointers. New England junior guard John Urlacher hit four 3-pointers — many of which came on a little screen play on the baseline.

“That’s one of my favorite plays,” Urlacher said with a smile.

The entire game was built upon runs for each team. The Tigers and Eagles were tied at 15 after the first quarter.

However in the second quarter, with Elijah Grady and Daryl Grady both in foul trouble, New England extended its lead to five, 31-26, at halftime.

The biggest thorn in New England’s side throughout the entire game was senior guard Wayne Fox, who finished with 25 points and six assists and four rebounds. Fox knocked down five 3-pointers.

“He hit some big shots,” New Town head coach Chuck Hunter said. “We tried to work inside-out and that frees him up a lot.”

During the third quarter, the Tigers didn’t slow down despite the Eagles putting on the press. New England extended its lead to nine points, 45-36, after Nordby supplied a layup with 18 seconds left in the quarter.

“We had to keep our foot on the pedal and we needed to continue to be physical,” Nordby said about the second half.

The fourth quarter was no different. New England maintained the lead throughout the final 8 minutes. The closest the Eagles came was three points after Joe Baker hit a 3-pointer with 2:13 remaining.

New England junior forward Daniel Prince made a pair of free throws and Brady Bender connected on one in the final 16 seconds. Prince finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, while Bender had three points, four assists and three steals.

Fox closed out the scoring with a 3-pointer with half a second remaining.

New England continues its season hosting Region 7 opponent Bowman County at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Despite the Bulldogs’ 2-12 record, Powers knows the team can’t take Bowman County lightly.

“We can’t overlook Bowman,” he said. “Everyone might be thinking about the (Dickinson) Trinity game on Friday, but Bowman knocked Killdeer off and our one loss is to the Killdeer Cowboys. It shows that there is a lot of parity in Region 7 and Bowman is capable of coming here and beating us, so we are going to have to be ready on Tuesday to get that job done.”

New Town 15 26 36 52

New England 15 31 45 55

NT: Wayne Fox 25, Daryl Grady 10, Elijah Grady 9, Joe Baker 4.

NE: Ty Nordby 18, John Urlacher 18, Daniel Prince 12, Mason Stang 4, Brady Bender 3.

3-pointers: NT 6 (Fox 5, Baker 1), NE 4 (Urlacher 4). Free throws: NT 4-12, NE 15-20. Total fouls: NT 16, NE 10. Fouled out: NT, D. Grady. Technical fouls: NT, D. Grady. Rebounds: NT 32 (Baker 9), NE 33 (Nordby 11). Assists: NT 12 (Fox 6), NE 10 (Bender 4). Steals: NT 5 (two tied with two), NE 9 (Prince 4). Blocks: NT 2 (two tied with one), NE 3 (three tied with one). Turnovers: NT 9, NE 9. Records: NT 10-2, NE 12-1.