New London surges past Pioneers in second half
New London and Maharishi School played a close game through two quarters, and then the visiting Tigers caught fire.
With a six-point lead headed into the second half Thursday, New London scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter to dart away with a 62-32 win in Fairfield.
Freshman Jayden Flowers led New London in scoring with a career-high 17 points on 3-for-3 3-point shooting, and senior teammate Dalton Dudley poured in 16 points off another four treys.
New London’s second-half surge was due, in no small part, to a barrage of 2s and 3s from Flowers and Dudley.
Flowers helped the Tigers build a 30-23 advantage on back-to-back baskets midway through the third. Two 3s from Dudley, as well as a pair of 2-pointers by sophomore Cameron Watson, gave New London its largest lead of the night at 40-23. Flowers joined in with a 3 of his own, upping the lead to 20 points by the end of the quarter.
Dudley, who is shooting 44 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this season, also made a pair of treys in the first quarter.
“When Dalton is on, he’s pretty tough to defend on 3-pointers,” said New London head coach Curt Watson. “When he’s shooting well it opens up the middle for us a lot more, as well.”
Dudley’s sharp-shooting ways certainly opened up room inside for Watson, who finished the game with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Quincy Porter finished with eight points, eight rebounds and three steals, and freshman Austin McBeth scored four for New London. Flowers tallied five steals.
For Maharishi School, the game — and the first half in particular — was an example of the progress the team has made.
“It’s a growing process. We hadn’t so far this year played 16 minutes in a row that was pretty good,” said Maharishi School head coach Mitch Haas. “I was proud of the fact that our guys played so well in the first half, and in the next game we want to continue that through three quarters.”
The Pioneers kept up with New London to start. After New London took an initial 8-2 lead, sophomore Bimba Shrestha hit a layup, and two straight scores by junior Surya Sawhney whittled the deficit down to 13-8 to end the first quarter.
“We kind of got the quick start and then we went stagnant there. We missed a lot of easy layups,” Watson said.
In the second quarter, the Pioneers pulled within one point following two free throws from Sawhney and a bucket by Avery Mullenneaux. New London pushed its lead back up to 22-16 and led 24-18 at halftime.
“I think our head was really into it tonight,” Haas said. “I thought we handled the full court press well, and that ignited us, and I thought we played pretty good defense in the first half.”
Sawhney led the Pioneers in scoring with 16 points, while Suraj Rao and Mullenneaux finished the game with six points each.
Mullenneaux also hauled in nine boards and blocked two shots, and Pullapantula cleaned up five boards and dished out two assists. Shrestha, who won the team’s “Mr. Hustle” award for the game, finished with two steals and two dimes.
“Surya was making a lot of nice shots tonight, and I thought Avery had his best game,” Haas added.
The Pioneers (2-16, 1-16 SEISC South) continue their season Tuesday at Van Buren. New London (4-14, 4-12) visits Harmony on Saturday.
Maharishi School vs. New London
NEW LONDON — 13 11 21 17 — 62
MSAE — 8 10 7 7 — 32
MSAE — Sawhney 7 2-2 16, Mullenneaux 3 0-0 6, S. Pullapantula 2 0-0 6, Ariaga 1 0-0 2, Shrestha 1 0-0 2, L. Pullapantula 0 0-0 0, DeAngelis 0 0-0 0, Totals 14 2-2 32.
3-point goals — S. Pullapantula 2. Rebounds — Mullenneaux 9, S. Pullapantula 5, Sawhney 3. Assists — S. Pullapantula 2, Shrestha 2. Steals — Shrestha 2. Blocks — Mullenneaux 2.
NEW LONDON — Flowers 7 0-0 17, Dudley 5 2-2 16, Watson 5 1-3 11, Porter 4 0-0 8, McBeth 2 0-0 4, Kadel 0 2-2 2, Christianer 0 2-2 2, Grogan 1 0-0 2, Moeller 0 0-0 0, Totals 24 7-9 62.
3-point goals — Dudley 4, Flowers 3. Rebounds — Watson 13, Porter 8, Dudley 4, Kadel 3, McBeth 3. Assists — Dudley 2, McBeth 2. Steals — Flowers 5, Porter 3. Blocks — none.