NEWTON -- Linda Martindale began her coaching career more than 20 years ago, but she believes this year's Newton North girls' squad takes as much pride in its defense -- if not more -- than any other team she's been around.
True to form, her Tigers smothered Brookline from start to finish in their 57-27 Bay State Carey Division win on Tuesday night.
In the game's opening two minutes, Newton North forced four turnovers -- three steals and one 5-second violation -- and jumped out to an 11-2 advantage before Warriors coach Allyson Toney called a timeout. But that didn't slow the Tigers' momentum. They finished the first quarter with a commanding lead, 24-7.
Newton North applied constant defensive pressure with its 2-2-1 zone press, then, when Brookline managed to get over half court, the Tigers' man-to-man defense was just as stingy.
As a team, they finished with 24 steals. Junior forward Infinity Thomas-Waheed led the way with 10 takeaways to round out a triple-double (20 points, 13 rebounds). Senior point guard Madison Beatrice had seven steals and four assists, while sophomore guard Amanda Ortiz finished with 14 points and three steals.
The Tigers (16-1, 12-1 Bay State) have now won 15 games in a row and find themselves atop the Bay State Carey standings with Braintree (15-2, 13-1 Bay State), which they beat two weeks ago to split their regular-season series.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.