In days of yore, King David only had to take out one giant.
The Newton High School boys’ basketball team knocked off giants of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I in two of the last three games
After stopping eighth-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Salina Central last week, Newton topped sixth-ranked (Class 6A) Derby 68-65 Friday at Ravenscroft Gym on Winter Homecoming.
Newton gave up a 26-14 third quarter, coming back with a 23-9 run in the fourth for the win. Newton beats Derby for the first time since sweeping the Panthers in the 2008-09 season.
“They believed in each other and believed in our game plan,” Newton coach Andy Hill said. “We made a couple of stops, hit a couple shots and momentum swung back in our favor. We went away from our zone defense for a stretch and that didn’t help us. We got back into our zone in the fourth quarter and that disrupted their rhythm. We got some stops that got us back in the game.”
Alex Krogmeier hit five of 10 3-pointers en route to 22 points, including a pair of treys in the fourth quarter. Ty Berry scored 17 points. Damarius Peterson added 16 points on eight of 11 shooting.
“I have to credit my teammates for getting me the ball,” Krogmeier said. “I was making a lot of shots. They kept feeding me the ball and I really feeling it. I had a lot of confidence tonight. at the first part of the season, we were really shaky. In the second part of the season, we’re playing better. We have to keep this energy. We have to keep playing as a team.”
“I knew it was going to be a battle,” Berry said. “We got down, but we never quit. Every stop was crucial. We got (Tyler) Brown in foul trouble and got him out of the game. Defensive rebounds were big for us. We were able to get it and go. I couldn’t ask for anything more from my teammates.”
Newton rebounds from a two-point overtime loss at Campus last Friday.
“It was our practices,” Berry said. “We had some hard practices and it showed on the court. When you have three or four great practices in a row, it’s going to show. We need more great practices. We need to keep up this energy. We had great energy on the bench.
Newton finished play 27 of 48 shooting. Derby was 25 of 48.
Derby was led by Bryant Mocaby with 26 points on 10 of 17 shooting. Mocaby was able to score both inside and out for the Panthers, 11-5 overall and 7-2 in AV-CTL I play. Tyler Brown was “held” to 23 points before fouling out in the final seconds of the game. Brown scored 30 points in a 90-71 Derby win earlier in the year. He scored 50 and 37 in two games last year against the Railers with Valley Center.
“Mocaby is a great player,” Hill said. “He hit some threes. He’s a real tough match-up for anybody. With the amount of weapons they had, they are hard to guard. We’ve come along way from our first game with them. We were a young team to start the year and it showed. We certainly haven’t arrived. But the kids continue to battle and believe.”
Newton jumped out 9-3 and then gave up an 11-2 run. A Krogmeier trey and a Cailen Valdez jumper with six seconds left in the period put Newton up 19-14.
Derby opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run. Down two later in the quarter, Berry hit a layup, followed by one of two free throws, to put Newton up 31-30 at the half.
Newton took a 38-36 lead early in the third quarter, but gave up an 8-0 run on two 3-pointers and a layup. An Emilio Valentin trey with 1:51 left in the period put Derby up by seven. Brown followed with a putback off a Railer turnover. A Jacob Karsak putback at the buzzer put Derby up 56-45.
Down by 13, Krogmeier hit two 3-pointers, followed by a Valdez three-point play and a Jamieson Jones layup. Newton tied the game with 4:12 left in regulation on a Peterson putback set up by a Berry steal. Peterson put Newton in the lead on a layup with 3:31 in regulation. Grant Adler broke the run with a layup 16 seconds later.
After trading baskets and turnovers, Derby’s Mocaby dunked with 1:30 remaining to tie the game, followed by a Peterson dunk 20 seconds later for Newton. Derby missed a pair of shots to either tie or take the lead. Berry hit one of two free throws with 8.0 seconds. A Mocaby trey at the buzzer rimmed off.
Newtom improves to 7-9, 5-3 in league play. Newton plays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hutchinson. The Railers needed a buzzer beater to beat the Salt Hawks 58-56 at the start of January. Hutchinson is 5-12, 0-9 in league play after a 53-38 loss to Maize.“They’re a good team,” Hill said. “They are capable of beating anybody in the league. We’re going to take a couple of days to prepare and hope we don’t have a hangover over this one.”
DERBY (11-5, 7-2 AV-CTL I) — T.Brown 4 (4) 3-6 5, 23; Karsak 1 0-0 0, 2; Washington 0 0-0 2, 0; Valentin 2 (1) 0-1 2, 7; Adler 2 (1) 0-0 0, 7; Hood 0 0-0 0, 0; B.Mocaby 6 (4) 2-4 1, 26; A.Brown 0 0-0 1, 0; TOTALS 15 (10) 5-11 11, 65.
NEWTON (7-9, 5-3 AV-CTL I) — Valdez 4 1-2 1, 9; Krogmeier 3 (5) 1-1 3, 22; Sauceda 0 0-0 0, 0; Hampton 0 0-0 1, 0; Jones 2 0-0 3, 4; Berry 4 (2) 3-8 2, 17; Peterson 8 0-0 2, 16; TOTALS 21 (7) 5-11 12, 68.