SALINA — The Newton High School boys’ basketball team was burying shots from all over the gym Tuesday in an Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I clash at Salina South. Everywhere, that is, except from the free throw line. The Railers were two of 15 from the free throw line, preventing the Railers from closing out the game late and allowing the Cougars to rally for a 56-52 overtime win. It was the second game this season where Newton’s free throw shooting allowed a team to beat them in overtime, falling to Hays in the semifinals of the Hays City Shootout. The loss drops the Railers to 2-3, 1-1 in AV-CTL play. “The kids worked too hard to shoot that way,” Newton coach Don Cameron said. “If we hit free throws, we might be 5-0 this season. The kids didn’t give up. It’s heartbreaking to see them play that hard. We came back from seven down. We got up three or four. You’ve got to hit free throws. I’m not frustrated at the kids. I’m frustrated for them.” South, 1-2 overall and 1-0 in AV-CTL I play, was led by Nathan Kroeker with 13 points. Kaleb Renk added 11 points. Conner Ryan scored 10 points. Newton was led by Lane Pauls with 18 points, hitting six of nine 3-point shots. Austin Krogmeier scored 11 points. Grant Walker added 10 points. A Pauls bank trey at the first quarter buzzer to put the Railers up 12-10. South opened the second quarter with the first three points. Newton scored the next five. South ended the half on a 7-0 run to lead 20-17 at the half. Newton was down by as many as seven throughout most of the third quarter. Back-to-back Pauls treys got the Railers back within one at the end of the period, 34-33. Newton regained the lead on a Krogmeier layup to start the fourth quarter. Newton took the lead on a Jack Kingsley shot with about five minutes to play to take a 39-37 lead. Newton then forced a turnover, killing nearly two minutes off the clock before turning the ball back over to South. Zach Nachbar tied the game with a layup with 1:55 in regulation. Newton countered with a Pauls trey with 45 seconds in regulation. After a South missed layup, Newton got the rebound. Jacob Wright was fouled with 19.3 seconds in regulation. Wright missed the free throw, but Walker got the rebound and was fouled. Walker also missed. Kroeker cut the Railer lead to one with a layup with 4.7 seconds in regulation. Gunnar Drinnen missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3.4 seconds to play. South called time out with 3.0 seconds to play. Newton deflected inbounds passes twice. Shawn Smith was fouled with 1.1 seconds to play, hitting the first, but missing the second. Newton opened the overtime missing three of four free throws. South then hit a trey and a layup. Nachbar hit one of two free throws. Pauls broke the run with a trey with 1:06 left in the overtime. South came back with three of four free throws. Walker hit a trey with 28.9 seconds left in the overtime to get Newton within two. Ryan answered with two free throws 2.3 seconds later. Drinnen hit a trey to get Newton back within one. Renk then hit two free throws for South. Wright missed two free throws with 4.3 seconds left. The second miss was intentional, but was called a violation on the Railers. Newton hosts Campus Tuesday. The Colts are 1-3 after 75-45 loss to Hutchinson. “We have to worry about ourselves right now,” Cameron said. “We’ve got to get an inside game going. We didn’t box off in the first half, especially weak side. The effort is there. We have to believe in ourselves.”
NEWTON (2-2, 1-1 AV-CTL I) — Krogmeier 4 (1) 0-2 5, 11; Wright 0 0-3 3, 0; Morrison 0 (1) 0-0 0, 3; Drinnen 0 (2) 0-0 2, 6; Walker 1 (2) 2-6 4, 10; Carlgren 0 0-0 1, 0; J.Kingsley 1 0-2 3, 2; Downey 1 0-1 0, 2; Pauls 0 (6) 0-0 2, 18; Robinson 0 0-0 1, 0; Lehman 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 7 (12) 2-15 21, 52. SALINA SOUTH (1-2, 1-0 AV-CTL I) — Busby 1 (2) 1-2 4, 9; Nachbar 2 1-2 3, 5; Ryan 1 (2) 2-2 2, 10; Kroeker 5 3-7 2, 13; Mar 0 0-0 1, 0; Renk 1 (2) 3-4 4, 11; Driscoll 0 0-0 0, 0; Fox 1 1-2 5, 3; Smith 2 1-2 0, 5; TOTALS 13 (6) 12-21 19, 56. Newton 12 5 16 9 10 —52 S.South 10 10 14 8 14 —56