A senior known more for her rebounding and gritty defense, Newhouse showed off her scoring touch on Wednesday as she finished with a game-high 12 points, helping the No. 1-ranked Buccaneers win their 17th straight game and advance to tonight’s Class A regional finals against host Mona Shores.
It’s not her deft scoring touch that elevated the 5-foot, 10-inch Newhouse into the starting lineup on Wednesday. Instead, it’s the relentless effort she displays on both ends of the court.
“She’s just a phenomenal athlete,” said Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer. “On our team, 5-10 isn’t one of our tallest players, but she leads the way in rebounding and steals.
“She just has a knack for reading the rebounds. It’s something you don’t coach. She’s continued to get better, and she’s been huge for us in big games this year.”
Newhouse came off the bench and pulled down 14 rebounds in Monday’s district win over Reeths-Puffer. The senior forward knows that she’s out on the court to do all the dirty work, and she’s embraced that role.
“Rebounding, you have to work hard for it,” she said. “You’ve got to put your butt into them and go after it. I want to do all I can for my team. I embrace rebounding. I know that’s my role. That’s what I’m out here for.”
And while she’s suddenly found herself in the starting lineup, Newhouse knows that minutes can be hard to come by, especially on a team with so much talent at her position.
The Bucs’ Hannah Wilkerson, Kaeding Skelton, Cassie Holwerda and Newhouse have all started at the power forward spot this year, and it’s no exaggeration to say that any of them would start for almost any team in the state.
“You’ve got to work hard when you’re in there, because minutes are going to be harder to come by,” she said.
After playing a guard the past several years, Newhouse moved into the post this winter, and the switch has actually worked out quite well for her.
“Megan played guard her whole life, up until her senior year, when we moved her to the post,” Bucs’ coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “She’s quicker and more athletic than most of the players she goes up against, so she can get around them to get rebounds, and she uses her quickness to get open for shots.”
While she’s done a fantastic job on the basketball court this winter, Newhouse’s future is in another sport. She has signed on to play volleyball at Cornerstone University next year.