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

The Newton High School boys’ basketball team has been chomping down on opponents the last couple of weeks until Thursday night, when the Railers fell to Maize 71-36 in AV-CTL I play at Ravenscroft Gym, snapping a three-game winning streak.

“We didn’t do much well tonight,” Newton coach Andy Hill said. “That starts with me. I didn’t have them as well prepared as we needed to be. We weren’t prepared mentally or prepared physically to face one of the best teams in th state. That starts with me. We’ll come back tomorrow and try to show that’s not who we are.”

Maize, 15-4 overall and 10-1 in AV-CTL I play, clinches at least a tie for the league title. The Eagles are ranked third in the latest Class 5A coaches poll.

Caleb Grill led Maize with 23 points, 18 in the first half. Brandle Studevan Jr. added 17.

Newton was led by Ty Berry with 12 points. K.J. Hampton added 11.

“Hampton did some good things for us,” Hill said. “He got was able to finish. He got some big baskets in the first half that kept us close to that point.”

Demarius Peterson returned after missing a game with an injury, but he was visibly slowed.

“He’s fighting,” Hill said. “He wants to be out there. We have to make sure he’s ready to play for sub-state.”

Newton trailed by 11 in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game. A Berry trey at the buzzer cut the Railer deficit to six, 20-14.

Maize jumped to a 9-3 run to start the second quarter and led by 19 at the end of the half, 45-26.

Newton was outscored 14-2 to start the third quarter. Antonio Espinoza hit one of two free throws with 4.2 seconds left in the period to put Maize up 64-34 and start the running clock in the fourth quarter.

Newton put in its JV to start the final period. Maize also went deep to the bench.

Newton hosts Salina Central at 7:30 p.m. today. Central is 13-6 after a 41-22 win over Salina South Tuesday. Newton downed Central 67-54 earlier in the season.

“We just have to play with a little more energy and effort,” Hill said. “If we come out flat again, it’s going to be a similar outcome.”

MAIZE (15-4, 10-1 AV-CTL I) — Grill 5 (4) 1-2 0, 23; McGaugh 0 0-0 3, 0; Schreiner 1 0-0 3, 2; Studevan Jr. 8 1-4 1, 17; Stanton 0 0-1 0, 0; Simpson 0 0-0 0, 0; Ohnmeis 1 1-2 1, 3; Grimes 2 0-0 0, 4; Owings 0 0-0 0, 0; Koehn 4 0-0 1, 8; Schultz 4 0-0 1, 8; Johnson 0 1-2 1, 1; Espinoza 2 1-2 1, 5; TOTALS 27 (4) 5-13 12, 71.

NEWTON (9-10, 7-4 AV-CTL I) — Valdez 1 1-2 1, 3; Krogmeier 1 0-0 4, 2; Sauceda 0 0-0 2, 0; Hampton 5 1-1 1, 11; Wondra 0 0-0 0, 0; Cassil 0 0-0 0, 0; Fenwick 0 0-0 0, 0; Jones 1 0-0 1, 2; Berry 2 (2) 2-2 1, 12; Peterson 2 0-2 2, 4; Brackeen 0 0-0 0, 0; Ruth 1 0-0 2, 2; TOTALS 13 (2) 4-7 14, 36.

Maize;20;25;19;7;—71

Newton;14;12;8;2;—36