When the going got tough, East Newton’s Kortney Cambers stepped up for her team late and helped seal a victory over the Neosho Lady Wildcats at Neosho High School on Thursday.
East Newton won in three sets 25-17, 22-25, 25-18.
If not for the lack of smoke rising from their uniforms, one might have thought the Lady Patriots were on fire when they opened the first game and jumped out to a 12-2 lead. They could do little wrong in that span and the Lady Wildcats were never a factor.
Neosho, however, came alive in the second set and led almost the entire way before Sam Duke helped put it away from serve at the end, as the Lady Wildcats rattled off three-straight points after East Newton drew it to a 22-22 tie.
Neosho jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the third set before the Lady Patriots drew it to a 6-6 tie. The Lady Wildcats clawed back to get within 17-14 before Cambers took serve and stretched the lead to 23-14.
“I thought the biggest thing was we came out with a lot of emotion, desire, pride,” Lady Patriots coach Todd Dana said. “We turned it on late and it was a very good win for our girls.
“I thought the third game we came out and kind of hit a little wall there and then the girls responded really well.”
The win drew the Lady Patriots to 2-2 overall.
Lindey Broyles led East Newton with eight kills and three blocks, while Cambers had 21 assists and Kourtney Brewster finished with three aces.
“It’s just the mental mistakes that we make,” Lady Wildcats coach Kerry Roy said. “It’s all mental and we’ve just got to be able to get over that. No excuses.”
Neosho fell to 1-4.
Whitney Wise led Neosho with four aces and seven assists. Morgan Rogers turned in 10 kills and three blocks to lead the team, and Mallory Powell had nine digs.
Neosho won the B game 27-25, 20-25, 25-21.
East Newton entertains Pierce City at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Neosho is at the Lori Endicott Tournament in Willard on Saturday.