GARY | Among the countless myths related to the new year and its eve is an adage that success in work on the first day of the year will ensure success throughout the ensuing calendar year.
DeJah Joshua canned a game-winning 3-pointer on New Year’s Day to beat Logansport in the Times Region Roundball Rumble, and although only a few games since then have been close, she’s showing that clutch 3s might just be her thing in 2014.
Joshua hit a big 3-pointer from the left elbow with 4.6 seconds left in the first half to give Times No. 3 West Side breathing room in what had previously been a game of rotating leads each possession.
The wedge between the teams grew substantially in the second half as the Cougars turned a five-point halftime lead into a 53-26 win over Times No. 10 Hobart, which is still winless in the new year.
“That was a big shot that (Joshua) hit,” West Side coach Rod Fisher said. “She’s capable of hitting those big shots as long as they come from the flow of the game, not if they’re forced.”
While West Side had 10 second-chance points in the third quarter, the Brickies (9-7) extended their losing streak to four games with sloppy passing, bad defensive rebounding and unforced errors like layups off the bottom of the rim on a fast break.
Most of Hobart’s ball movement was sufficient, but an inability to finish at the rim led to a 9-for-38 performance from the field, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range.
“The second half we played team basketball, but the first half was a little too much one-on-one,” Fisher said. “That was the major adjustment we made.”
Joshua led West Side with 15 points, tying teammate Dana Evans.
Freshman phenom Evans did not play much in the first half after bricking an early pair of inappropriate long-distance 3-pointers. She scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to keep Hobart out of the game.
Hobart’s Zoe Wilson led the Brickies with 11 points and eight rebounds inside. She scored four in the second half as the Brickies had only nine points after halftime.
Tinon Hunter’s four points and 10 rebounds helped the Cougars dominate the paint on offense.
“Hunter played well,” Fisher said. “She was aggressive on the boards.”