The Newton High School boys' basketball team came out flatter than a tortilla under a steam roller Tuesday, falling to Valley Center 44-37 in non-league play at Ravenscroft Gym.

"I thought the first couple of possessions, we played well," Newton coach Don Cameron said. "Then they started hitting threes. We weren't getting off their screens well for threes. They had more threes than twos. In terms of that, we weren't ready for them. We had some turnovers. ... They played with a lot of physical aggressiveness on our guards."

Valley Center, 5-7, was led by Jason Barbour with 16 points and Dustin Johnston with 13.

Newton was led by Riley Kingsley with 10 points, eight in the fourth quarter.

Turnovers and cold shooting for the Railers in the first quarter allowed Valley Center to take an 11-7 lead.

More ball handling problems, combined with Valley Center's outside shooting, allowed the Hornets to open the second quarter with a 12-2 run. Newton scored the next fiur points, but gave up a trey and a layup in the last two minutes of play to trail 28-13 at the half.

Valley Center started the game four of 10 from the field in the first quarter, but finished the half 12 of 21. Newton was six of 19 shooting. Newton was outscored 21-3 from 3-point range. Newton had nine turnovers to three for the Hornets.

Tevin Berry opened the second half for Newton with a pair of treys. Valley Center didn't score in the period until Braden Janzen hit one of two free throws with 3:22 remaining in the period. Valley Center led by 11 at the end of the quarter, 34-23.

"We switched our defenses, and that took them out of their game," Cameron said. "From then on, it was free throws. The fourth quarter, they scored just one two. They were eight of 13 from the line."

After trading baskets, Valley Center was hit with a technical foul for slapping the backboard on a Railer shot. While the shot was disallowed, Riley Kingsley hit both free throws and a trey on the inbounds to get the Railers within six with 3:40 in regulation. After each team missed scoring chances, Jack Kingsley hit a trey with 2:24 remaining.

Valley Center came back with free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

Newton takes a week off, then plays Tuesday at 10th-ranked (KBCA, Class 6A) Maize.

"We need the time off," Cameron said. "We'll practice today and Thursday, then take the weekend off. February is going to be tough. Maize is state ranked. Salina Central is state-ranked. Goddard Eisenhower is. We still have Derby. That's why it would have been nice to get this one. Maize is strong. They are strong and quick. They have a 6-5 kid and a 6-7 kid. They will run and jump us and chase us."

VALLEY CENTER (5-7) Schrater 0 0-0 2, 0; Brittain 1 (1) 1-2 0, 6; Brown 1 (1) 0-0 3, 5; Wetig 0 0-0 0, 0; Barbour 1 (4) 2-2 1, 16; Joyal 0 0-0 0, 0; Tanner 0 0-0 1, 0; Claussen 0 0-0 0, 0; Johnston 4 5-7 2, 13; Lee 0 (1) 0-0 0, 3; Janzen 0 1-2 2, 1; TOTALS 7 (7) 9-15 11, 44.

NEWTON (6-6) R.Kingsley 1 (2) 2-2 4, 10; J.Kingsley 1 (1) 0-0 0, 5; Drinnen 1 (1) 0-0 0, 5; Carlgren 1 0-0 2, 2; Berry 0 (2) 1-2 2, 7; Downey 0 0-0 1, 2; Robinson 3 0-0 3, 6; Lehman 1 0-0 5, 2; TOTALS 8 (6) 17, 37.

Val.Ctr. 11 17 6 10 44

Newton 7 6 10 14 37

Technical foul VC: Johnston.