SALINA — Down two starters because of injury, the already thin and young Newton High School boys’ basketball team had to rely on some new faces to get by Salina South 51-44 Friday night in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play in Salina.

Newton wins its second straight, moves to .500 at 9-9 overall and improves to 7-3 in league play. South falls to 4-14, 3-7 in league play. Newton sweeps the regular-season series.

Newton was without starting center Damarius Peterson because of a groin pull and guard Isaac Presley because of a hamstring pull. Both are expected to miss at least one more game.

“I’m really proud of the way the kids played today,” Newton coach Andy Hill said. “We don’t win that game without Kolyn (Sauceda) and Max (Ruth). Kolyn had five big points in the fourth. Max did some really good things. He gave us good energy. I’m proud of the other five. They just gutted it out, grindded it out. They played well for not being at full strength.”

Ty Berry led the Railers with 23 points. Cailen Valdez added 12 and Alex Krogmeier scored 10.

Freshmen Devon Junghans and A.J. Johnson scored 11 points each for South. Isaac Mitchell scored 10.

Newton trailed 3-2 in the first six minutes of play as the two teams combined on two of 24 shooting. After a time out, Krogmeier hit a putback and a trey for the Railers. South finished the quarter with a Mitchell hook shot to cut Newton’s advantage to 7-5.

South opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run. Berry hit a trey with 5:07 left in the half to end the run and get Newton to within one. Valdez followed with a layup.

Tied 19-19, Junghans hit a trey for South with 38 seconds left in the half. Krogmeier answered for Newton 12 seconds later to tie the game 22-22.

Newton was outscored 8-4 to open the third quarter. Newton replied with an 11-2 run, aided by Cougar turnovers, to lead 37-32 at the end of the period.

South opened the fourth quarter with a Luke Streit trey. Newton pushed the lead back out to as many as seven on a Sauceda trey with 3:31 in the period. Johnson came back with two of four free throws for South.

Junghans hit a trey from about 28 feet to get South within three with 1:20 to play. Berry missed the front end of a one-and-bonus eight seconds later, but came back with a layup and a pair of free throws after defensive stops. Newton made another defensive stop and ran out the clock.

“We honestly didn’t change much at halftime,” Hill said. “We pretty much did the same thing, execution-wise. We had a stretch where we forced two or three turnovers in a row. They also had a couple unforced turnovers. That gave us what we needed.”

Newton hosts third-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Maize at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Maize is 14-4, 9-1 in league play, after a 49-42 win at Salina Central.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Hill said. “We’ll be short-handed again. The guys will rise to the occasion. We’ll have a good practice before the game. We’ll give them everything they can handle. We’re not going to use injuries as an excuse. We’re going to come out and compete.”

NEWTON (9-9, 7-3 AV-CTL I) — Valdez 5 2-2 0, 12; Krogmeier 2 (2) 0-0 0, 10; Sauceda 1 (1) 0-0 3, 5; Hampton 0 1-2 2, 1; Jones 0 0-0 4, 0; Berry 6 (1) 8-11 2, 23; Ruth 0 0-0 2, 0; TOTALS 14 (4) 11-15 13, 51.

SALINA SOUTH (4-14, 3-7 AV-CTL I) — Wilson 1 0-0 1, 2; Munsell 0 0-1 0, 0; Junghans 1 (3) 0-0 2, 11; Streit 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; Johnson 4 3-6 3, 11; Calvert 0 0-0 1, 0; Garrett 0 0-0 2, 0; Mitchell 5 0-0 3, 10; Banks 1 1-3 0, 3; TOTALS 12 (4) 6-12 15, 44.