HARROD – For first-year Van Buren girls basketball head coach Carly Clum, Monday’s nonconference game at Allen East was a homecoming of sort for the former Allen East standout.
However, at least early on, it wasn’t the ideal reception for the 2015 Allen East graduate.
Allen East got out quickly on Clum’s Black Knights, and held off Van Buren for a 47-36 victory on Monday.
Tori Newland led Allen East (8-2) with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Lauren Criblez scored 11 points and had three steals. Kate Newland added nine points, five rebounds and three steals for the Mustangs.
Maddie Parker and Zoe Horne each scored 11 points to lead Van Buren (4-8). Parker also had five boards and three steals.
Despite turning the ball over 22 times on the night, Allen East was able to control the boards and come away with the victory.
“They put a little pressure on us and we turned it over,” Allen East coach Dana Koontz said. “We had too many turnovers there in the second half. Our aggressiveness backed down (in the second half). We weren’t as good defensively. They got to the rim on us, and we weren’t able to get out into transition; and that was a big key for us. When we can get out into transition and don’t have to run a half-court offense, that would be great. They did a good job of pressuring us and turning us over.”
Allen East turned the ball over three times in the first minute of the game. Fortunately for the Mustangs, Van Buren was unable to capitalize on those early miscues.
After knotting the game at 2 apiece, Allen East then pushed out to a 14-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Mustangs pushed the tempo, as Criblez scored eight points inside the paint.
Van Buren was a dismal 1 for 12 shooting from the field in the first stanza. Allen East was 6 for 10 from the floor.
The Black Knights started to find their range in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 14-9.
However, the Mustangs responded in big fashion, going on an 11-2 run to close out the first half, and taking a 25-11 lead into the locker room.
Tori Newland and Kate Newland each scored four second-quarter points to lead the Mustang spurt.
“Tori (Newland) had a really good game,” Koontz said. “She’s a big key to what we do. She’s getting stronger inside. So, if she can finish for us, that’s great.”
Allen East led 36-20 by the third stop.
In the fourth quarter, Van Buren put Allen East on its heels. However, the Mustangs were able to hold off the Black Knights down the stretch.
“If they could have finished (shots off turnovers), we would have been in big trouble,” Koontz said. “But we were able to control the boards, especially in the first half, and get out into transition. In the second half, it was a little different story.”
Allen East dominated the boards, 42-24.
Allen East shot 43 percent from the field. Van Buren shot 27 percent from the floor.
Van Buren turned the ball over 15 times on the night.
“We have to stop having lapses,” Clum said about her Black Knights. “We have to push through, start off strong and finish strong.
“We always try to be aggressive. No matter what team it is, we want to have the most effort. Our game is (playing) defense. At first (Monday night), our offense wasn’t flowing. We were kind of rushing our shots. But once we started playing solid defense, it started to flow into our offense.”