DERBY — As the old saying goes, “Some days, you eat the bear, and some days, the bear eats you.”

That was the case for the Newton High School boys’ basketball team, which followed one of its best performances of the season with a struggle in shooting, transition defense and ball handling in a 90-71 loss to Derby Tuesday in Derby.

“Those were our keys,” Newton coach Andy Hill said of ball handling and defense. “Derby is going to turn you over. That’s their style. We still had way too many. A lot of those were from being careless, not being tough enough with the ball, not having two hands on it. I was proud of them. We fought back. Sometimes, when you expend all that energy to get back in the game, it’s hard to finish the job. All it takes is a turnover or a shot by them, and you’re back down by 14 or more. We didn’t quit.”

Tyler Brown led the Panthers with 30 points. Brown scored 10 points in the final 3:38 when Newton’s Ty Berry fouled out. Tre Washington, Clayton Hood and Bryant Mocaby each scored 12 points.

“He’s a good player,” Hill said. “They had some other shooters and part of that was on me. We waited too long to start getting on some of the other shooters. He’s quick and hard to guard.”

Derby improves to 5-2, 5-1 in AV-CTL I play. Newton falls to 4-5, 3-2 in league play.

Damarius Peterson led the Railers with 23 points. Berry added 18 points. Cailen Valdez and Jamieson Jones each scored 10 points.

“We’ve been waiting for that out of Damarius,” Hill said. “We didn’t think they had anyone who could guard him. He did a much better job in the second half of demanding the ball.”

Tied 4-4 early, Derby made a 12-0 run. Derby led 20-10 at the end of the quarter.

Newton stayed with Derby early in the second quarter, but turnovers took their toll as the Panthers were able to increase their lead by as many as 18. Newton got back to within 14 at the end of the half, 37-23.

Derby hit 13 of 20 from the field in the first half. After a five of 13 start, the Railers finished the half nine of 20. Newton had 10 turnovers to five for the Panthers.

Newton drew as close as 11 in the third quarter, missing opportunities to get closer. Derby then made a run off Railer turnovers to lead by 20. Derby led 64-46.

Newton chipped away at the lead early in the fourth quarter. An Alex Krogmeier trey with 4:49 to play got Newton within 10. Down by eight, Berry was called for his fifth foul. Newton was then hit with a bench technical. Brown hit all free throws. Derby was able to pull away by as many as 19 late.

Newton gets a week and a day to work on things, opening play Dec. 18 at the Bluestem Classic in El Dorado. Newton should know its first-round opponent in the next day or two.

“We need the time off to work on some things,” Hill said.

NEWTON (4-5, 3-2 AV-CTL I) — Presley 0 0-2 0, 0; Valdez 3 4-5 1, 10; Krogmeier 1 (2) 0-0 4, 8; Saucedo 0 0-0 0, 0; Hampton 1 0-0 2, 2; Jones 4 2-3 5, 10; Berry 5 (1) 5-8 5, 18; Peterson 11 1-3 3, 23; Ruth 0 0-0 0, 0; McBeth 0 0-0 1, 0; Wondra 0 0-0 0, 0; Cassil 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 25 (3) 12-21 22, 71.

DERBY (5-2, 5-1 AV-CTL I) — Benway 0 0-0 0, 0; Bonner 0 1-2 0, 1; T.Brown 10 (1) 7-9 2, 30; J.Mocaby 0 0-0 0, 0; Karsak 0 0-0 0, 0; Washingt5on 5 2-3 2, 12; Valentin 2 4-7 2, 8; Adler 1 (1) 0-0 4, 5; Hood 6 0-0 4, 12; B.Macoby 3 (1) 3-5 2, 12; A.Brown 3 2-3 3, 8; Meyer 1 0-0 0, 2; Kennedy 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 31 (3) 19-29 19, 90.

Newton;10;13;23;25;—71

Derby;20;17;27;26;—90

Technical foul — New.: bench.