Newfield’s road to States
March 9, 2015
The IAC is the Interscholastic Athletic Conference. The conference consist of four divisions North small and South small where the winners from both play in the IAC championship, and the North and South large whose winner will also play in the IAC Championship for the best large school team. Newfield’s Division consists of Candor Indians, Edison Spartans, Odessa-Montour Indians, Tioga Tigers and Spencer-Van Etten Panthers. This season Newfield ran away with the division, winning it almost half way through the season because they won all their games in the division.
Since last year’s loss to Moravia in the IAC championship and the Sectional playoffs, the returning players made a promise to themselves and each other that this wouldn’t happen again. Devin Cooper a senior this year says, “Since 2005 when Dusty Marshall and Josh Delfino took our teams to States, that has been a goal of this team and of mine.” During the 2014-2015 season, the Trojans were without Cooper for the first seven games of the season due to a broken ankle, but one thing about this team is it isn’t a one man show like other schools. We have many players that can step up at any point in the game. Newfield did just that, winning all seven games and in the process beating Johnson City in a Christmas Tournament 47 to 43.
This year’s team is different from many others in the IAC and in the state for that matter. Newfield wins their games with defense, holding opponents to 35 or less in every game but three. This is key to the Trojans success Coach Barrett says, “We create match-up problems for people because we are so long and athletic that our 2-3 zone is tough to beat. If we continue to play how we should, we should stay competitive.” The Trojans have one loss in the season coming from Watkins Glen on February 20. Before that, the Trojans were up to 6th ranked in the state creating buzz in the newspaper and around the town about the Trojans dominance.
After winning the division, the Trojans focused on the north small school division champion, the Moravia Blue Devils who have won three of the last four IAC championships and in their history have won the Section Four Championship and went on two or three state runs. Newfield was mentally and physically ready for this tough test even though Moravia lost their 6 foot 7 big man Chandler Benson who graduated but the team still has talent.
Newfield started the game out slow but came out with the lead into halftime. From there the game was neck and neck going into the fourth. The game was coming down to the wire. With Cooper on the sideline due to foul trouble, the other Trojan twin tower Dekhari Stewart and leading scorer Brian Barrett both hit very important free throws to clinch Newfield’s first IAC championship in eight years.
With the loss to Watkins the Trojans are ranked second in the sectional rankings but don’t have a problem with the loss or the ranking. Brian Barrett says, “That loss helped us because it gives us a taste of what losing feels like and makes that never want to happen again.” Stewart says that “that loss to Watkins was tough but now it shows us how much more we want this chance to win states and be the greatest team to come through Newfield.” The Trojans play their first playoff game Saturday February 27th at five o’clock. The road to states starts here.