The Newton High School boys’ basketball team is still struggling to close out games, watching a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to three and eventually claiming a 62-50 win Tuesday at Ravenscroft Gym.


The Newton High School boys’ basketball team is still struggling to close out games, watching a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to three and eventually claiming a 62-50 win Tuesday at Ravenscroft Gym.

Newton, 8-5, won its sixth out of the last seven games. South falls to 3-9. Both teams were playing their fourth game in five days.

“I was pleased with the way the guys got through it,” Newton coach Don Cameron said. “They were tired. It was hard game for us. It was a hard game for Salina South as well. Mentally, it’s hard to do. The kids did some nice things on the court.”

Isaiah Thaw led the Railers with 18 points, hitting six of seven from the field and six of 10 from the free throw line. Taylor Claassen scored 17 points, hitting three of five 3-point shots. Jake Reinhardt scored 10 points. Tyler Mitchem added nine points.

“I think as a team, we buckled down and played as a team,” Thaw said. “We were tired of playing one-on-one. That helped us out. (In the fourth quarter,) we might have lost focus, but we got it done. Playing in the tournament took a lot out of us.”

Cody Neuburger led South with 10 points.

Newton jumped ahead 13-6 in the first 5 1/2 minutes of play, aided by five South turnovers. The Cougars got back in the game with the last three points of the period.

South posted the first basket of the second quarter to pull within two. Despite cold shooting, the Railers were able to pull back out by nine. Derek Harman hit two free throws with eight seconds left in the half to cut the Railer lead back to seven, 24-17.

Newton opened the third quarter hitting four of four free throws. South was able to hit from outside, cutting the Railer lead to five on a Neuburger trey with 2:45 left in the period. Newton ended the period with a 9-0 run capped by a Claassen trey, followed by a Thaw layup on a fast break, putting Newton ahead 45-31.

Newton opened the fourth quarter with a dunk by Thaw. Kyle Fox answered with a trey for South to spark a 13-0 run that included a four-point play for Josh Owen. Reinhardt broke the run with one of two free throws with 4:05 left in regulation. Amaude Frank followed with two free throws 36 seconds later.

A trey by Fox with 2:04 to play got South back within four. Newton hit just one of the next four free throws. Claassen finally hit two with 1:10 to play. After a South miss from the line, Claassen hit a layup with 1:01 to play.

“The kids came out ready to play,” Cameron said. “Coming out ready to play after three straight days is hard. We just got a little careless, although we only had 10 turnovers. Most of those came at the end. We responded well to the loss at Dodge City.”

Newton is off until Feb. 6, when the Railers travel to Derby in a rematch from the semifinals of the Dodge City tournament, which Newton won 54-46. Both teams are ranked seventh in their respective classes in the coaches poll.

“We’ll take some time off tomorrow,” Cameron said. “We’ll bring in some of the alums and scrimmage them. We’ll get ready for Derby. I’m sure they’ll be waiting for us.”

SCORING CORRECTION — Thaw’s scoring line was omitted from the box score in Monday’s Kansan. He was one of three from the field and two of three from the line for four points.

SALINA SOUTH (3-9) — Stratton 3-11 1-2 8, McDaniel 2-4 0-0 4, Owen 2-9 2-2 7, Fox 3-7 0-0 9. Ponton 2-6 0-2 4, Neuburger 4-7 0-0 10, Heart 1-2 0-0 2, Harmon 1-1 4-4 6, TOTALS 18-47 7-10 50.

NEWTON (6-7) — Frank 1-3 3-4 6, Claassen 6-9 2-4 17, Mitchem 3-7 3-3 9, Kaufman 0-1 2-6 2, Thaw 6-7 6-10 18, LaCoste 0-4 0-0 0, Reinhardt 3-8 4-5 10, Baker 0-2 0-0 0, TOTALS 19-41 20-32 62.

S.South 9 8 14 19 —50

Newton 13 11 21 17 —62

Total fouls — SS 23, New. 15. Technical fouls — SS: Harman. Fouled out — SS: Harman. 3-point shooting — SS 7-15 (Stratton 1-2, Owen 1-5, Fox 3-5, Neuburger 2-3), New. 4-9 (Frank 1-2, Claassen 3-5, Mitchem 0-1, LaCoste 0-1). Rebounds — SS 28 (McDaniel 7), New. 24 (three with 5). Assists — SS 11 (McDaniel 4, Fox 4), New. 11 (Thaw 3). Turnovers — SS 19 (McDaniel 4), New. 10 (Thaw 3). Blocked shots — SS 1 (Heart 1), New. 1 (Frank 1). Steals — SS 6 (six with 1), New. 12 (Mitchem 4).