The Newton High School girls’ basketball team was able to smother the Hutchinson Salt Hawks on defense in the first half to claim a 41-30 win Tuesday night in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play at Ravenscroft Gym.

The win puts the Railers at 14-3, 7-2 in league play. Hutchinson falls to 6-11, 3-7 in league play.

“In the first half, we put on a clinic defensively and offensively,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “We haven’t played offense like that all year long. We ran our sets. When we cut, we cut hard. We played well together. Our rotation was great. We got helpside when we needed to play helpside. I challenged them to do continue to do that in the second half, but it didn’t resonate. With this team, we still haven’t put two halves together. We will, but it’s getting late in the season. After Derby (a loss Friday), I can’t complain. The bench gave us some really good minutes — Aubrie Nichols, Taylor Brewer, Savannah Simmons, DesiRay (Kernal). They all played hard off the bench. Desi played a lot more relaxed tonight.”

Kernal led Newton with 14 points, followed by Abby Schmidt with 10.

Kasey Hazel led Hutchinson with nine points.

Neither team scored for the first 3:11 of play. A Schmidt layup sparked a 13-0 Railer run to end the period. Taylor Antonowich capped the run with a trey with 28 seconds left in the period.

Madyson Regier broke the shutout for Hutchinson with a pair of free throws with 6:36 left in the first half. Hazel followed with a layup. Kernal hit a 3-pointer for Newton’s first basket of the period with 5:33 left in the half. Newton led by 19 late in the period. A Hazel layup with 30 seconds left cut the Newton lead to 17, 26-9.

Hutchinson finished the first half three of 14 from the field with eight turnovers. Newton was nine of 16 shooting with three turnovers.

Hutchinson broke into double digits in scoring with 6:41 left in the third quarter on a Micah Tomas short jumper. A Schmidt putback was the only other field goal in the first four minutes of the quarter. After trading baskets, a Hazel floor shot at the buzzer got Hutchinson within 14, 35-21, at the end of the period.

The Railers held Hutchinson scoreless for the first 3 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter, but only managed four points for themselves. Hazel broke the Salt Hawk shutout with a three-point play. Neither team scored again until Jayla Bynum hit a putback with 2:23 remaining in the game. Newton missed free throws late in the game that allowed Hutchinson to continue to cut into the lead.

Newton hosts Salina South at 6 p.m. Friday for senior night.

“We’re not going to change anything,” Jordan said. “We’re just going to concentrate on executing better. They know they let down in the second half. We don’t have to show them the tape. They know.”

HUTCHINSON (6-11, 3-7 AV-CTL I) — Tomac 2 0-0 1, 4; Regier 0 2-2 1, 2; Armburst 0 0-0 1, 0; Scales 0 0-0 0, 0; Elmore 0 0-0 1, 0; Ackley 0 (1) 2-2 2, 5; Posch 2 0-0 1, 4; Hazel 4 1-1 2, 9; Ontjes 0 0-0 2, 0; Bynum 3 0-3 1, 6; Hofley 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 11 (1) 5-8 13, 30.

NEWTON (14-3, 7-2 AV-CTL I) — Antonowich 0 (1) 1-2 1, 4; Simmons 0 0-0 0, 0; Remsberg 0 0-0 0, 0; Nichols 1 1-2 1, 3; Bacon 1 1-2 2, 3; Kernal 4 (1) 3-6 2, 14; Berry 1 0-2 2, 2; Brewer 1 0-0 0, 2; Schmidt 4 2-2 3, 10; Akers 1 1-2 1, 3; TOTALS 13 (2) 9-18 13, 41.

Hutchinson;0;9;12;9;—30

Newton;13;13;9;6;—41