VALLEY CENTER — The Newton High School boys’ basketball team had its chances from the free throw line to seal a comeback victory over Valley Center.
Instead, Trenton Driskill hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left in overtime to give the Hornets a 56-55 win Tuesday in Valley Center.
Newton played from behind for most of the game, trailing by as many as 10. Newton had leads in both the fourth quarter and overtime but failed to hold them.
“I’m not sure we should have been in that situation to begin with,” Newton coach Andy Hill said. “We came out slow. That was on me. I didn’t have us prepared to go. I’m very proud of them for fighting back when things didn’t go well. We fought hard and put ourselves in a position to win. We just didn’t finish it.”
Valley Center, 2-2, was led by Trenton Driskill with 17 points, followed by Wyatt Lange with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jaythan Lutz scored 11 points, but was held to four total in the final three quarters and overtime. Joe Petrakis scored 10 points.
Newton was led by Ty Berry with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Berry was nine of 16 from the field. Damarius Peterson added 11 points.
Valley Center finished the game 20 of 53 shooting, six of 15 from 3-point range. The Hornets were 10 of 16 from the line. Newton was 20 of 62 shooting, two of 20 from 3-point range. Newton was 13 of 20 from the line. Newton was outrebounded 45-34.
“In the second half, we stopped thinking about (Valley Center’s height) so much and started playing our game,” Hill said. “We took 12 threes in the first half. That was way too many in the first half. Offensively, we just weren’t there in the first half. We took the shots they wanted us to take. We just didn’t do a good job executing.”
Newton did commit a season-low three turnovers and forced 17.
“We played pretty good defense in the second half,” Hill said. “At one point, they had, I don’t know how many turnovers and we had zero. It was just a little too little, too late.”
Newton fell behind 9-2 early on seven points for Lutz. Newton replied with a 7-0 run of its own. Valley Center ended the quarter on an 8-0 run capped by a Jakob Burne jumper with five seconds left in the period to lead 17-9.
Newton fell behind by 10 early in the second quarter, but again charged back within one on a Berry slam with 4:26 left in the half. Valley Center again got back out by seven. Newton trailed by five at the end of the half, 27-22.
Newton was eight of 28 shooting in the first half, while Valley Center was 10 of 25. Newton was outrebounded 21-15.
Newton pulled within one midway in the third quarter on a Berry slam. Berry was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim despite contact. Valley Center hit both free throws and scored on a putback on the possession.
Newton again fought back within two, only to give up a Lange trey with 1:17 left in the period. Newton trailed 38-33 at the end of the quarter.
Newton opened the fourth quarter with a Berry three-point play. Newton took its first lead, 41-40, on a Berry layup with 5:22 in regulation. Berry missed the front end of a one-and-bounus 43 seconds later, but the Hornets turned the ball over on the other end. Berry hit one of two free throws with 4:23 to play.
The Hornets regained the lead on a Joe Petrakis trey. Newton replied with a Peterson layup and one of two Berry free throws.
Newton got up by as much as three. Valley Center took the lead on a Driskill putback with 43.4 seconds in regulation. Berry tied the game with one of two free throws about seven seconds later. Lutz missed a runner with four seconds left in regulation. The rebound was knocked out of bounds by Valley Center. A Cailen Valdez half-court shot bounced off the back of the rim.
Driskill opened the fourth quarter with a runner, followed by one of two Berry free throws. Lange then hit a trey to put the Hornets up by four.
Newton got back within two on a Berry layup with 1:10 left in the overtime. Lutz hit one of two free throws six seconds later, answered by a Berry layup. After a missed Driskill free throw, Berry hit a layup with 33 seconds in overtime to put Newton back in the lead.
After Valley Center regained the lead on the free throws, two inbounds passes by Newton were deflected. A half-court shot was off the mark.
Newton drops to 1-3 and plays Friday at Maize. The Eagles are 3-1 overall and 3-0 in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play after a 52-47 win over Campus. Newton split with Maize last season with the home team dropping each game.
“We have to stay after it,” Hill said. “We have to stay positive. It’s a league game, so both teams will be excited. We just have to make sure we’re ready for it.”
NEWTON (1-3) — Presley 0-1 0-0 0, Valdez 3-16 2-2 8, Krogmeier 2-9 0-0 6, Suaceda 0-0 0-0 0, Hampton 2-8 0-0 4, Berry 9-16 8-14 26, Peterson 4-12 3-4 11, Ruth 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 20-62 13-20 55.
VALLEY CENTER (2-2) — Burns 0-1 0-0 0, Lutz 4-10 2-5 11, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Schrater 0-0 0-0 0, Byrne 1-4 2-2 4, Lange 4-10 0-0 12, Driskill 6-14 5-7 17, Williams 1-4 0-0 2, Petrakis 4-10 1-2 10, TOTALS 20-53 10-16 56.
Total fouls — New. 17, VC 18. Technical fouls — New.: Berry 4:04-3q. Fouled out — New.: Berry 3.6-OT1. 3-point shooting — New. 2-20 (Presley 0-1, Valdez 0-6, Krogmeier 2-8, Hampton 0-2, Berry 0-3), VC 6-15 (Lutz 1-2, Byrne 0-2, Lange 4-8, Driskill 0-1, Williams 0-1, Petrakis 1-1). Rebounds — New. 34 (Berry 13), VC 45 (Lange 10). Assists — New. 9 (Valdez 3), VC 10 (Burns 3). Turnovers — New. 3 (Valdez 1, Berry 1, Peterson 1), VC 17 (Lutz 7). Blocked shots — New. 1 (Hampton 1), VC 4 (Petrakis 3). Steals — New. 10 (Hampton 3, Berry 3), VC 2 (Lange 1, Driskill 1).