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Newport Christian girls’ basketball routs Brethren Christian

ABBI.jpg
Newport Christian’s Abbi Bowman dribbles past Brethren Christian’s defense in a nonleague game on Thursday in Newport Beach.
(Drew A. Kelley)

In just its second season of high school sports, Newport Christian School has a girls’ basketball team composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores.

The youth hasn’t stopped the Seahawks from winning early in their first varsity season.

Freshman guard Lani Bowman scored 22 points, leading Newport Christian to a 55-13 nonleague win at home over Brethren Christian on Thursday.

Bowman’s twin sister, Abbi, contributed 11 points for the Seahawks, who improved to 3-2.

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“It was a good game for us to start executing some of our new defensive designs, our full-court press,” Newport Christian coach Terrell Thorogood said. “Offensively, it was good to just get them moving the basketball and being aggressive and passing well in transition.”

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Newport Christian’s Lani Bowman scores against Brethren Christian in a nonleague game on Thursday in Newport Beach.
(Drew A. Kelley)

Despite being a young program, the group gels after years together under Thorogood. He said he has coached these players since they were in middle school at Newport Christian, where the team lost only one game in a two-year span.

The Seahawks warm up in T-shirts that say “Family” across the chest and spend time with one another off the court, even watching a movie as a team prior to playing Thursday’s game.

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“They’re an ambitious group and ready to take on any team,” said Thorogood, whose Seahawks will compete as a freelance team this season. “They’re not afraid of anybody.”

Newport Christian, which has an enrollment of 42 high school students, 12 of which play for Thorogood, didn’t seen to be afraid of Brethren Christian (0-2).

The Seahawks took a 20-2 lead in the first quarter, and the Warriors were on their way to a second lopsided loss on the road. Brethren Christian lost its season opener to Palos Verdes Peninsula Chadwick 49-6 on Tuesday.

Lani Bowman was active on offense and defense, turning steals into layups on a consistent basis. With 10 first-quarter points, she helped Newport Christian gain a comfortable lead. Thorogood said that he’s been working with Bowman on her left-handed layups “for years.”

“She was attacking the left side from start to finish,” Thorogood said. “She played really well.”

When one Bowman sister would miss a shot, the other would claim the rebound, anticipating one another’s next move.

“We practice a lot together,” Lani Bowman said.

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The third quarter was dominated by Bowman again, racking up eight of her team’s 17 points in the quarter.

With the Bowman sisters and playmaker Ashlyn Thompson all on the court together, Newport Christian had its most fluid possessions and lockdown defending. The trio played to one another’s strengths, calling out plays and forcing Brethren Christian turnovers.

Thompson, Newport Christian’s lone senior, missed a bulk of the second quarter as she nursed an injury before returning to score four points in the final three minutes of the half. She finished with nine points.

“Since we’ve played together for a few years, we have chemistry together,” Bowman said. “We trust each other.”

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Newport Christian’s Ashlyn Thompson dibbles down the court in a nonleague game against Brethren Christian on Thursday in Newport Beach.
(Drew A. Kelley)

Nonleague

Newport Christian 55, Brethren Christian 13

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SCORE BY QUARTERS

Brethren Christian 2 – 7 – 2 – 2 — 13

Newport Christian 20 – 10 – 17 – 8 — 55

BC – Biggins 5, K. Allison 2, Peters 2, Yu 2, Lu 2.

3-pt. goals – None.

Fouled out – Peters.

Technicals – None.

NC – L. Bowman 22, A. Bowman 11, Thompson 9, Goodby 4, Estrada 4, Villagonzalo 2, Romero 2, Hawley 1.

3-pt. goals – None.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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