WICHITA — A furious comeback for the Newton High School girls’ basketball team couldn’t overcome another slow start as the Railers fell to 10th-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 57-49 Thursday in the GWAL-AV-CTL Challenge in Wichita.

“That’s been our MO against some of these tough opponents like Derby and Maize, Kapaun, Goddard on Tuesday,” Newton coach Justin Schneider said. “We just haven’t been getting our footing. We have a lot of inexperienced players that haven’t played a lot of varsity basketball. We have to come out with intensity and believe in ourselves. We can compete with anybody on the court.”

Kapaun, 7-2, was led by Ella Anciaux with 23 points. Jada Mayberry and Mary Short each added 11 points.

Newton was led by DesiRay Kernal with 13 points, all in the second half. Megan Bartel added 12.

Kapaun hit six of its first seven shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, to take a 14-2 lead. The Railers trailed 16-5 at the end of the period.

Arciaux scored the first five points of the second quarter for the Crusaders, followed by a 5-0 Railer run. Newton trailed 30-15 at the half.

Newton finished the half five of 20 from the field. Kapaun was 12 of 19 shooting.

Kapaun opened the third quarter with a layup, followed by a 10-0 Railer run — six by Kernal — aided by seven Kapaun turnovers. The Crusaders got back out by 13, but Newton cut the deficit to nine at the end of the period, 38-29.

Kapaun finished the period with 11 turnovers.

Newton scored the first four points of the fourth quarter. Newton got to within three before Mayberry broke the run with a 3-pointer with 5:24 in regulation.

Newton got back to within four on a Mallory Seirer trey with 2:51 remaining. Neither team scored again until Ancioux hit two free throws with 1:04 to play. Kapaun put the game away at the line.

“We really stressed our defense and that’s what got us back in the game,” Schneider said. “Our defense is our best offense right now. We were able to pressure them and get some baskets in transition. We’ve got some athletes on the floor. … We just have to play with that intensity for four quarters.”

Newton falls to 5-4 and plays at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at 7-1 Maize. The Railers fell to the Eagles 48-40 Dec. 20. Newton follows with the Newton Invitational beginning Jan. 24.

“The good news is we get some days off,” Schneider said. “We get four days of prep for Maize. We were right there with them until late in the game. The girls seem to get up for Maize.”

“We may get another chance to play (Kapaun) again (at the Newton Invitational.”

NEWTON (5-4) — Kei.Gillispie 0 0-0 1, 0; Anderson 1 1-2 5, 3; Bartel 1 (2) 4-7 2, 12; Antonowich 1 1-2 5, 3; Zenner 1 4-4 0, 6; Kernal 5 3-5 5, 13; Slechta 0 0-0 0, 0; Cornejo 1 1-2 1, 3; Seirer 0 (1) 0-0 2, 3; Dorrell 3 0-0 1, 6; TOTALS 13 (3) 14-22 22, 49.

KAPAUN-MT. CARMEL (7-2) — Le 3 3-4 2, 9; Mayberry 0 (2) 5-6 2, 11; Short 3 (1) 2-2 4, 11; Ayala 0 0-0 0, 0; Jacobs 0 1-2 0, 1; C.Bruning 0 0-0 3, 0; K.Bruning 0 0-0 1, 0; Dalian 1 0-0 3, 2; Anciaux 8 7-11 3, 23; TOTALS 15 (3) 18-25 18, 56.

Newton;5;10;14;20;—49

Kapaun-MC;16;14;8;19;—57