The Newton High School girls’ basketball team used almost surgical precision to eliminate Liberal 73-23 Wednesday night in the Class 5A sub-state semifinals at Ravenscroft Gym.?Newton, 17-4, advances to the finals at 7 p.m. Friday against Salina Central.?“I thought we had a great team effort,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “We’ve been defending people well all through February. That was one thing we were doing really well as we got into post season. I thought tonight, that continued. We guarded hard. We helped each other out with our rotation. The one area that has bothered me was our ability to take care of the ball. We need to give ourselves more scoring opportunities in the game. We took very good care of the ball. We boxed out and did the fundamental things. We attacked the zone. We passed to two or three sides before we took a shot.”?Newton had just five turnovers in the game, three in the third quarter. Newton hit 27 of 49 from the field. Liberal had 19 turnovers and hit just nine of 28 from the field.?The Railers were 14 of 15 from the line, while Liberal was just three of five.?Newton was led by Abbie Lehman with 22 points. Taylor Stahly and Kelsi Langley scored nine points each. The Railers used all 12 players with nine scoring.?“Abbie had a terrific game,” Jordan said. “She played like a veteran. She found the open spot in the lane. Her teammates found her, and she finished tonight. She has been struggling with finishing her shots, and has been working hard in practice. I don’t know if she missed.”?“The coach has been getting on me to finish layups,” Lehman said. “So I have been working on that a lot. We played really well as a team. We shared the ball.”?Jai Chapman led 4-16 Liberal with seven points. Megan Beseker hit both of Liberal’s 3-point shots for six points.?Newton jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 3:36 of play, hitting four of six shots from the field. Liberal missed two shots and turned the ball over twice during the run. Liberal took a time out, but the Railers added seven more points to the run before Megan Larkin broke the shutout with a putback with 2:10 left in the period. Newton led by 18 at the end of the period, 22-4.?Liberal stayed with Newton early in the second quarter. Up 30-10, Newton went on a 10-0 run. The Railers led by 29 at intermission, 44-15.?Newton opened the third quarter with a 13-0 run. Chapman broke the shutout with a pair of free throws with 2:48 left in the quarter. Newton led 59-19 at the end of the quarter.?The fourth quarter was played with a running clock. Newton made a 10-0 run to start the quarter. Newton used its bench liberally in the second half. Freshman forward Payton Roberts-Parker scored six points in the fourth quarter.?“I certainly wasn’t trying to do anything to run the score up,” Jordan said. “We moved the ball well. I tried to get the kids in as much as I can. Still, it’s post-season. Abbie and Emily (Hiebert) and those girls have worked hard this season, and they deserved to play.”?Newton faces Salina Central for the third time this season. Central advanced to the finals with a 65-29 win over Valley Center. Newton beat Central 45-42 and 43-31.?“Central is good and Valley Center is good. They’re both playing well,” Jordan said. “Valley plays zone a lot. Central plays man a lot. To me, it’s important to be tested in sub-state. I’ll be happy to play either, because we will be tested.”?“If we come out strong, we should be able to take care of business,” Lehman said.

LIBERAL (4-16) — Ramirez 0 0-0 1, 0; Hernandez 0 0-0 1, 0; Collins 0 0-0 1, 0; Sanchez 0 0-0 0, 0; Chapman 2 3-4 3, 7; Nuñez 1 0-0 0, 2; Beseker 0 (2) 0-0 1, 6; Larkin 1 0-0 1, 2; Long 1 0-0 1, 2; Shelton 1 0-0 0, 2; Jennings 0 0-0 0, 0; Reglado 1 0-1 4, 2; TOTALS 7 (2) 3-5 13, 23.?NEWTON (17-4) — Porter 1 1-2 1, 3; Anderson 1 (1) 0-0 0, 5; Stahly 2 (1) 2-2 1, 9; Hiebert 2 (1) 1-1 1, 8; Bartel 0 0-0 1, 0; Lehman 10 3-3 0, 23; Langley 2 (1) 2-2 2, 9; Boston 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; Saenz 0 0-0 0, 0; Carlgren 2 3-4 2, 7; Roberts-Parker 2 2-2 1, 6; Thieszen 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 22 (5) 14-15 10, 73.?Liberal 4 11 4 4 —23?Newton 22 22 15 14 —73