GODDARD — For the second straight game, the Newton High School boys’ basketball team made multiple dramatic comebacks only to give up the lead again, falling to ninth-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Goddard Eisenhower 64-55 Friday night in non-league play in Goddard.
Newton falls to 0-2, while Eisenhower is 1-1.
“It was like groundhog day,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well. That was pretty apparent. They hit too many threes. Alex (Krogmeier) had a pretty rough night from outside. That was pretty frustrating for him. He did hit one late in the game. He didn’t quit. They made shots and they made plays against us.”
The game matched up two of the top junior prospects in the state, which Eisenhower’s Jordan Vincent beat Newton’s Ty Berry 32-31.
“I didn’t feel like much was working tonight,” Berry said. “I wasn’t hitting many shots. As a team, we just weren’t hitting many shots. We can shoot, but the shots weren’t falling tonight. We played well on the defensive end. We were getting rebounds, we just couldn’t make shots.”
“Everybody was taking good shots and taking what the defense was giving them,” Vincent said. “I was getting good passes to me today. Ethan (Stewart) was making good passes. Everyone else was making good passes. They started getting offensive rebounds and that helped them get back in the game.”
“Justin Vincent is an All-State player in 5A,” Preston said. “I was proud of Kolyn (Sauceda) and Isaiah (Presley) for defending him. I didn’t want to use Ty on him until late. We knew Jordan would get his. They had a couple of other players step up. They made more plays than us tonight.”
The two played together on summer teams and are friends.
Stewart added 11 points for Eisenhower. Damarius Peterson scored 14 points for Newton.
“Demarius and Jamieson (Jones) did a good job inside tonight,” Preston said. “They were getting a lot of rebounds. Demarius wasn’t getting a lot of calls, but he was fighting hard tonight. Jamieson was hitting the boards.”
Newton missed its first 11 shots from the field, falling behind 3-0. Eisenhower missed its first six shots, but then hit a basket and one of two free throws. Eisenhower finished the quarter with the last three points to lead 11-8.
Newton trailed by six early in the second quarter, but came back with a 6-0 run to tie on a Berry pull-up jumper. Vincent replied with a short jumper and a three-point play. Vincent added a trey to put the Tigers up by six. A Berry jumper with three seconds left in the period cut the Railer deficit to three, 27-24, at the end of the half.
Eisenhower opened the second half on a 10-0 run, aided by four points on a technical foul against Berry. Eisenhower hit two treys in the run. Damarius Peterson broke the run with one of two free throws with 5:56 left in the period. Newton got back within seven, missing chances to draw closer until Berry hit a three-point play with 29.8 seconds left in the period to get Newton within four, 44-40.
Berry opened the fourth quarter with a trey and a layup off a steal. The lead was short-lived as Vincent hit four of five free throws. Patrick George followed with a layup to put the Tigers up by five. Berry broke the run with one of two free throws with 4:13 in regulation. Peterson followed with two free throws to get Newton within two.
After Newton missed several shots to tie or take the lead, Ethan Stewart hit two free throws for Eisenhower with 3:15 in regulation. Vincent then scored on an ally-oop and one of two free throws.
Berry broke the skid with one of two free throws with 1:46 to play. Vincent replied with a three-point play with 1:24 remaining. Spencer Mailey put the game away with two of four free throws.
Newton faces Salina South at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Salina. South is 1-2 after a 70-58 win over Buhler.
“They are in the same boat we are in,” Preston said. “Their gym is a tough place to play. We showed some improvement tonight. We took a lot better care of the ball. We got rebounds. We weren’t careless. We need to make strides for Tuesday. Hopefully, we’ll shoot better.”
NEWTON (0-2) — Presley 0 0-0 4, 0; Brackeen 0 0-0 3, 0; Berry 10 (1) 8-11 3, 31; Saucedo 1 0–0 2, 2; Krogmeier 0 (1) 0-0 2, 3; Petz 0 0-0 0, 0; Jones 2 1-2 3, 5; Petersom 5 4-5 5, 14; Mills 0 0-1 0, 0; Ruth 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 18 (2) 13-19 22, 55.
GODDARD EISENHOWER (1-1) — Slitter 0 (2) 0-0 0, 6; Vincent 8 (1) 13-17 3, 32; Omli 1 0-0 3, 2; Stewart 0 (2) 5-6 3, 11; Hogan 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; P.George 1 0-0 4, 2; Maley 2 3-6 3, 7; R.George 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 12 (6) 22-31 21, 64.
Technical foul — New.: Berry.