Meggie Scott makes no bones about it.
Scott, Newark's junior point guard, and the Norsemen have unfinished business in the coming week. And the timing couldn't be better.
Newark (14-6), the top seed in the Little Ten Conference Tournament that tips off Monday, have taken some hard losses in the tournament the last two seasons.
Not this year, says Scott.
"We're not going down this year; we're out for blood," Scott said. "Everybody knows that, everybody looks at us as the team to beat. It [the conference tournament] is a big deal, everybody looks forward to it."
Newark can also look forward to being whole, which hasn't been the case most of the season. Evie Martin and Kenna Borton were both out a month with mono. Jocelyn Mitchell missed time with anemia.
The Norsemen, though, should have everyone healthy for the tournament.
"I think we're on the right track, moving forward," Scott said. "It's been a struggle to keep the pieces together, but we're 14-6. I think we're peaking at the right time, which is important."
Scott is a big reason why Newark's kept afloat.
The area leader in points, assists and made 3-pointers, and second to Sandwich's Sarah Ness in steals, Scott is averaging 14.6 points and a whopping 7.7 assists per game, along with 4.1 steals and even 4.3 rebounds. She also shoots free throws at a neat 80 percent clip.
Newark, always a team that puts a premium on teamwork and ball movement, has the right girl to set that tone.
"She has a good balance of her floor game and involving her teammates, while also increasing her scoring," said Newark coach Barb Scott, Meggie's mom. "It makes her hard to guard because she has very good court vision."
Scott, realizing that junior year is a significant one, worked hard in the offseason to increase her ability to look for her shot. The Newark girls also worked over the Christmas break on their strength and finishing. They did pushups and medicine ball work.
"We move the ball pretty well," Meggie Scott said. "We have four to five who can put up 12-15 points a night. We all see each other well, which helps a lot."
Indeed, Newark spreads the wealth with Martin (9.9 points per game), Alyssa Gittins (8.8), Mitchell (8.3) and Brooke Kala (8.3). Added to that mix is sophomore Kaitlyn Hatteberg (7.0), who has stepped up big-time since being brought up to varsity.
"We brought her up right after Evie was out, and she's a huge piece," coach Scott said. "She's increased her confidence, and her scoring. She can cut to the basket well, catch passes and is able to fill it up at the rim. Definitely one silver lining is having people out has allowed other people to step up. That will help our depth going into the state tournament."
Hatteberg had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Scott 15 points and eight assists and Mitchell 20 points and eight steals Thursday in Newark's 70-43 win over Hinckley-Big Rock.
"Jocelyn had been struggling with anemia for the majority of the season but has really been able to pick it up the last two games both offensively and defensively," coach Scott said. "She is a huge piece to our team. It’s been great to see her get her strength back and make big contributions in our victories."