MAIZE — After a slow start, the Newton High School boys’ basketball team had several chances to get back in the game against top-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Maize Friday night before falling 59-50 in AV-CTL I play in Maize.

Down 18-8 after the first quarter, Newton got back within five at the half, 27-22. Maize led by seven at the end of the third quarter, 43-36.

Newton drew within one possession late in the game, but Maize was able to pull away late from the free throw line.

“I’m really proud of the way the guys battled against adversity,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We really weren’t getting a lot of calls going our way. They were playing a lot of pressure and they were very physical. At one point, the fouls were 6-2 against us. Alex Krogmeier did a great job of defending Caleb Grill. Grill averages about 20 points a game and Alex held him to nine. Jaxon Brackeen made some plays for us. Ty Berry hit some shots in the fourth quarter for us. He was a real leader for us tonight. Ty and Damarius (Peterson) were both in foul trouble, but they fought their way through it.”

Devon Koehn led Maize with 16 points. Brandle Easter Jr. had 13.

Berry led Newton with 22 points. Krogmeier added 10.

Maize is 13-0, 7-0 in league play. Newton falls to 7-7, 3-3 in league play.

Newton hosts seventh-ranked (Class 5A) Salina Central at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Central is 10-2, 5-2 in league play and coming off a 52-39 win over Hays.

NEWTON (7-7, 3-3 AV-CTL I) — Brackeen 8, Berry 22, Krogmeier 10, Ray 2, Jones 2, Peterson 5.

MAIZE (13-0, 7-0 AV-CTL I) — Grill 9, McGaugh 5, Schriener 6, Easter 13, Ohnmies 6, Grimes 2, Koehn 16.