It took the Newton High School boys’ basketball team more than three quarters to figure out Derby’s press Friday night in AV-CTL I play at Ravenscroft Gym, but the Railers came through late for a 47-44 win.
Damarius Peterson scored Newton’s last seven points to cap a 13-4 fourth quarter. He also snagged a rebound on a missed free throw to keep Newton in the lead.
“I’m a senior, so I have to finish the game for us,” Peterson said. “I told the coach I was going to finish the game for us and I did. That was senior leadership.”
The Railers also held Derby to four points in the second quarter, but lost the first and third quarters.
“That’s just basketball there,” Peterson said. “They had some runs, but we never backed down. We never settled. This will get us going. Two bigs wins right now, we have to keep this up.”
Peterson finished the game with 19 points. Ty Berry added 16.
“The reason we won that game was just pure grid and toughness,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We won it with defense. We have spent so much time working on guarding and rebounding the ball. Ty had one of the worst games of his career, but we won it because of heart and toughness. That’s what we want to be known for. It was a team effort. Everybody chipped in tonight. We sat Ty five or six minutes and the other guys stepped up. We were down six or eight in the third quarter and I thought this was going to get away from us, but the kids never quit.”
Peterson had to contend with 7-foot senior Joshua Osborn, but Peterson was able to win the battle on offense, defense and rebounds. He held Osborn to four points.’
“I face a seven-footer in summer ball before, but it’s been a long time,” said Peterson, who is listed at 6-7. “It was fun. I didn’t back down from him. I wanted to win this for the team
Clayton Hood led Derby with 22 points, hitting four 3-pointers, three in he first half.
Peterson scored the first six points of the game. Newton extended its lead to 12-1. Nick Bonner hit a 3-pointer for Derby’s first field goal. Down 13-9, Derby ended the period on an 11-0 run, the last eight points by Hood, to take a 20-13 lead. Newton had four turnovers in the last 1:09.
The Railers scored the first six points of the second quarter, but then started turning the ball over again.
Newton finally tied the game on a Berry trey with 2:21 left in the half.
Newton briefly lost Alex Krogmeier when he was undercut while going up for a shot. While he couldn’t shoot the free throws awarded to him, he was able to return, putting Newton in the lead with a layup with 1:03 left in the half. An Owen Mills putback at the buzzer put Newton up 28-24.
“Krogmeier is such a tough kid,” Preston said. “He gets hurt and comes back into the game. I thought he was going to have his legs broken. He comes back and plays like a mad man, stealing balls. He played more aggressive than I have ever seen him.”
Newton scored the first basket of the third quarter, but then gave up a 12-0 run. Kolyn Sauceda hit a layup at the buzzer to get Newton back within six, 40-34.
Newton made a 6-2 run to start the fourth quarter. Peterson tied the game with layup with 2:11 in regulation. Derby then missed a free throw and a shot from the field. Newton missed two shots from the field.
Another Derby miss set up a three-point play for Peterson with 43.6 seconds in regulation.
Grant Adler hit a layup with 22.6 seconds left, Jackson Brackeen missed a free throw with 9.6 seconds left, but Peterson got the rebound and was wrapped up. Peterson hit both free throws to keep Newton up by three.
Derby missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Newton plays at 3-0 Campus at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Campus has a game Saturday at Maize.
“This is a tough stretch,” Preston said. “Our league is crazy right now. If you think you can come into this league and have a night off, you’re crazy. If we get a win, let’s match it for our next one. This one will show our mental fortitude to go on the road on a Tuesday night and play at maximum intensity. This one has trap game written all over it.”
“The atmosphere there is great,” Peterson said. “They have great crowds. We have to keep ourselves up and playing hard.”
DERBY (1-3, 0-2 AV-CTL I) — Clemons 0 0-0 0, 0; Bonner 1 (1) 0-0 2, 5; Chadwick 0 0-0 0, 0; Araujo-McKendrick 1 0-2 1, 2; Washington 1 (1) 0-0 3, 5; Adler 2 0-2 4, 4; Wash 0 0-1 1, 0; Hood 4 (4) 2-6 2, 22; Thomas 1 0-0 2, 2; Osborn 2 0-0 5, 4; TOTALS 12 (6) 2-11 20, 44.
NEWTON (2-2, 2-0 AV-CTL I) — Presley 0 0-0 3, 0; Brackeen 0 1-3 1, 1; Berry 5 (1) 3-4 2, 16; Sauceda 1 0-0 5, 2; Krogmeier 2 0-1 0, 4; Jones 1 0-2 3, 4; Peterson 7 5-8 2, 19; Mills 1 1-2 0, 3; TOTALS 17 (1) 10-20 16, 47.