By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
STANBERRY - No. 3 seed Albany (6-2) got off to an 11-6 start in the first quarter, and never lost the lead the rest of the way, as the Warriors topped North Andrew, 49-44, in the first round of the 47th Stanberry Invitational Monday.
North Andrew (1-5) hung tough throughout, trailing only 23-19 at halftime, but the Warriors created some separation thanks to senior Gabby Newman.
After getting elbowed in the face and sitting out a couple of minutes in the third quarter, Newman came back in and nailed a three-pointer to put her team back up two possessions.
"I think it got us back in the game," Newman said. "They got a couple of steals and a layup when I was on the bench. Once I hit that (three), we kind of got the momentum back and that helped us moving forward."
Newman finished with a team-high 20 points, including eight in that third quarter. Fellow seniors Sierra Anthony scored 11, while Kayce Messner added nine.
North Andrew didn't go away, despite being down seven to enter the fourth. The Cardinals scored 15 points in the final period, but Albany was in the bonus with 7:29 to play and then the double bonus with 2:39 left.
Albany was able to make 10-of-16 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to survive and advance.
"I thought we did a better of job of lifting our heads up (in the second half)," Albany head coach Brooke Crawford said. "We just kind of went out and got the job done. I was proud of them."
Senior Alaina Officer led North Andrew in scoring with a game-high 21 points, including the Cardinals' only made three-pointer in the second quarter. Sophomore Riley Walker scored 10. Senior Carlie Grace had six.
Albany now awaits the winner of No. 2 Stanberry and No. 7 Mound City, who square off on Tuesday afternoon at 4:30.
"We just have to get the ball in our hands again," Crawford said. "It doesn't matter who the opponent is, we just have to mentally prepare for a tough game on Thursday."
Albany 49 - 11, 12, 13, 13
North Andrew 44 - 6, 13, 10, 15
Albany scorers - Gabby Newman - 20, Sierra Anthony 11, Kayce Messner - 9, Michaela Martin - 7, Cory Worrell - 2.
North Andrew scorers - Alaina Officer - 21, Riley Walker - 10, Carlie Grace - 6, Madison Ecker - 4, Regan Walker - 2, Makenna Goldizen - 2.
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