The Newton High School boys' basketball team heads into the holidays with a signature win, stopping seventh-ranked Salina South 50-47 Tuesday in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League play at Ravenscroft Gym.
The Railers played from behind for much of the game.
"We showed a lot of toughness," Newton coach Don Cameron said. "When we got punched, our guys came back. The really big one was when (Justin) Stonebreaker was on the perimeter. We had two guys on him, and both left him, and he hit a three. That put them up three. My question was, 'Why would we leave a shooter like that?' The guys came back from that very well. That is a big basket by Stonebreaker, but we responded. We responded all night. We were down 18-11 at one time."
Newton was led by Josh Robinson with 12 points and Brendan Downey with 10. Robinson scored 11 in the second half.
"I just thought we worked the ball around more today," Robinson said. "We worked for good shots. We passed the ball pretty well. Coach says play the next possession, so if we get down, play the next possession and forget what happened before. This was really good. It seems like the last couple of years, we've lost the close games. This year, we've won them. It feels great."
"The thing I was pleased about with Josh was not only scoring, but when he didn't have a shot, he kicked it out," Cameron said. "He had at least three assists. He finds people."
Stonebreaker scored 15 points for South, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in division play. Shawn Smith added 12.
Newton jumped out 7-4 early. Up 11-8, Newton gave up a 10-0 run capped by a South trey at the buzzer.
Newton worked its way back in the game in the second quarter, tying it on a Brendan Downey jumper with 1:55 remaining in the quarter. Neither team scored in the remaining time, leaving the game tied 24-24 at the half.
Newton hit from the field early in the third quarter, while South stayed in the game from the line. Up 30-28, Newton gave up a 6-0 run, aided by a pair of turnovers. Down by five, Newton made an 8-2 run to take the lead with 96 seconds left in the quarter. A Trace Kochevar three-point play with 48.5 seconds left in the period put South back up by two at the end of the period, 42-40.
Josh Carlgren scored eight points in the third quarter for Newton.
"He was like, 'I'm in, I'm going to play,' " Cameron said.
Newton tied the game early in the fourth quarter on a Downey jumper, missing several chances to take the lead. Stonebreaker hit a trey with 5:56 to play to give South back the lead. Robinson answered with a layup and one of two free throws to tie the game back up. Jack Kingsley followed with one of two free throws to give Newton back the lead with 4:36 in regulation.
Stonebreaker hit a pair of free throws with 3:09 to play. Gunar Drinnen answered for Newton 63 seconds later with a layup. Newton missed another chance to extend its lead when Jack Kingsley missed the front end of a one-and-bonus with 1:14 remaining in regulation.
South missed the front end of a one-and-bonus with 51.7 seconds to play. Robinson was fouled on the rebound, hitting two free throws.
Stonebreaker missed a 3-point shot with 31.7 seconds to go, but Newton turned the ball over on an offensive foul 12 seconds later. South missed two more 3-point shots before time expired.
"Defense played really well today, coach (Jeff) Comer did a good job with that," Cameron said. "Communication broke down against Salina Central (Friday). The guys responded well."
Newton is 3-2 overall, 1-1 in AV-CTL I play. Newton plays Jan. 7 at Campus.
"This is a good Christmas present for going into the break," Cameron said. "We'll take some time off now. We'll practice the rest of this week, and that will be it until after Christmas. We have a lot to do. Offensively, we did well, but at times I've gotten nervous. We need to get a rhythm."
SALINA SOUTH (1-2, 0-1 AV-CTL I) — Nachbar 2 3-5 3, 5; Marcotte 0 0-0 2, 0; Stonebreaker 3 (2) 3-6 1, 15; Hilt 0 (1) 0-0 0, 3; Mar 1 (1) 0-0 3, 5; Becker 0 0-0 0, 0; Fox 0 2-2 4, 2; Smith 6 0-0 4, 12; Kochevar 1 1-1 3, 3; TOTALS 13 (4) 9-14 20, 47.
NEWTON (3-2, 1-1 AV_CTL I) — R.Kingsley 0 (1) 2-2 1, 5; J.Kingsley 0 (1) 1-3 1, 4; Drinnen 2 0-0 2, 4; Carlgren 0 (2) 2-2 2, 8; Berry 1 (1) 2-2 3, 7; Downey 5 0-1 2, 10; Robinson 4 4-6 2, 12; Lehman 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 12 (5) 11-16 15, 50.
S.South 18 6 18 5 —47
Newton 11 13 16 10 —50