The Newton High School girls’ basketball team closed out the regular season with a 52-44 win over Maize Friday night at Ravenscroft Gym.

The Newton High School girls’ basketball team closed out the regular season with a 52-44 win over Maize Friday night at Ravenscroft Gym.

Maize picked up the pressure and physicality in the second quarter after falling behind 17-8 in the first quarter, getting within one at one point in the game.

Newton ends the regular season 18-2, winning its first Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I title at 11-1.

“We’re difficult to defend in the half-court,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “When they started pressuring us, we didn’t respond well. I challenged them at halftime. In my opinion, the best way to handle pressure is to attack pressure. We did a better job of getting active and moving the ball. Once we got over the timeline, we did much better. They wanted to speed us up. We needed to keep under control. In the second half, we played at a fast pace, but we kept it under control.”

Newton was led by Kendra Scott with 17 points, followed by Kate Lehman with 14 and Maddie Pendry with 10.

“They were pretty physical with us, so we had to be physical back,” Scott said. “They were trying to speed us up. We wanted to play at our speed. My teammates did a good job of finding me.”

“Kendra has been real solid since the Christmas break,” Jordan said. “She has been doing a lot of nice things. Since Kate was getting a lot of double and triple teams, Kendra was getting open. She did a great job on defense. They made an adjustment, and another girl started hurting us, so we made a switch and put Abbie (Lehman) in. Abbie is a lot longer. Kendra guarded a player on the perimeter and did a good job there.

“Maddie has been fearless. She hit a big three for us last night, and another one tonight. She is playing with a lot of confidence.”

Paige Lungwitz led Maize with 12 points. Maize used seven players and six scored.

“Maize is an awfully nice team,” Jordan said. “They had a lot on the line in this game. There was a lot on the line for both teams. That’s why they didn’t back down.”

Newton jumped out 9-3 early. Newton pulled away late in the period to lead 17-8.

In the second quarter, Newton went from no turnovers to six. A Lisa Tomasu trey cut the Railer lead to four, followed by a Lungwitz three-point play. Emily Hiebert made a three-point play to get the Railers back out by four, but Erin Roeser hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 seconds left in the half to get Maize back within two, 26-24. A Hiebert 3-point shot at the buzzer was disallowed.

Newton opened the third quarter with a 6-2 Scott run, followed by a Pendry trey and a Hiebert layup. Scott added one of two free throws to get the Railers up by 12 with 2:34 remaining in the period. Maize got back within eight by the end of the period, 39-31.

Maize opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run, stopped by an Abbie Lehman short jumper and a Pendry trey. Newton hit free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

Newton opens sub-state play Wednesday at home with the opponent to be determined. Newton will have a draw with Salina South and McPherson to determine the top seed of the eight-team sub-state pool. Two sub-states will be formed from the pool.

“It’s not a gimmie,” Jordan said. “It’s going to be difficult. We’ll enjoy this game and worry about sub-state tomorrow. Winning the league title is a big accomplishment for us. It’s our first year in this division and to win it is big.”

MAIZE (15-5, 8-4 AV-CTYL I) — Tomasu 1 (1) 0-0 1, 5; Hartzog 0 (1) 0-0 2, 3; Reid 3 2-2 3, 8; McCreath 2 (1) 0-0 1, 7; Lungwitz 2 (1) 5-5 2, 12; Roeser 3 3-4 4, 9; Parks 0 0-0 3, 0; TOTALS 11 (4) 10-11, 16, 44.

NEWTON (18-2, 11-1 AV-CTL I) — Pendry 0 (3) 1-2 3, 10; Hiebert 3 1-2 3, 7; Garver 0 0-0 0, 0; A.Lehman 1 0-0 2, 2; Scott 7 3-4 4, 17; Vogts 1 0-0 2, 2; K.Lehman 2 10-15 2, 14; TOTALS 14 (3) 15-23 16, 52.

Maize 8 16 7 13 —44

Newton 17 9 13 13 —52