The Newton High School girls’ basketball team got off to a strong start, but struggled a bit afterwards, holding on to a 66-50 win over Goddard Eisenhower Tuesday night at Ravenscroft Gym.

“In the third quarter, we had a stretch where we struggled, but we responded to Eisenhower’s runs,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “We stepped up. That’s what’s going to make this team special. I really liked our defensive pressure. Savannah (Simmons) guarded really well, so did Megan (Bartel) and so did Kalli (Anderson). That’s really important to our success. We had some rotation issues, but we’ll fix that. Most of the night, we played really hard.”

Newton was led by Simmons with 19 points, followed by DesiRay Kernal with 14, Jada Berry with 10 and Taylor Brewer with 10.

“We came together well and started trusting each other more,” Simmons said. “Everytime they came back, we had a spark. We distributed the ball well tonight. Like I said, we trusted each other well.”

While finals stats were not available after the game, Kernal appeared to be close to a double-double in assists.

“Desi played composed and did distribute the ball very well,” Jordan said. “As good of a player as she is, she was very unselfish tonight. She got hit a couple of times when she went up for layups. She did a good job of finding her teammates.”

Newton finished the game 25 of 50 from the field, while Eisenhower was 19 of 33.

“We need to live on that,” Jordan said. “When you get those turnovers, you need to attack. In the first half, we did a really good job of that. We got out in the lanes and attacked the rim. That was something we didn’t do well in Emporia. If we didn’t have a layup at Emporia, we pulled the ball out. Tonight, we didn’t. We continued to attack. We didn’t give them a chance to match up.”

Newton jumped out to a 10-4 lead, gave up a 6-0 run and made a 6-0 run off turnovers. The Tigers took a time out and Newton added eight more points to the run, capped by a Berry layup at the buzzer.

Newton added three more points to the run to open the second quarter. Eisenhower came back with an 11-4 run of its own to draw within 10. Newton ended the half on a 6-3 run capped by a Kyndal Bacon layup at the buzzer to put the Railers ahead 37-24.

Both teams opened the game with strong shooting. Newton was 17 of 28, while Eisenhower was nine of 14. Eisenhower had 11 turnovers to seven for Newton.

Newton led by as many as 16 in the third quarter. A Brewer jumper with 13 seconds left in the period put the Railers ahead 48-33.

Eisenhower scored the first four points of the fourth quarter. A Denning three-point play got the Tigers within six with 5:33 left to play. Kyndal Bacon replied with a trey 20 seconds later. Kernal hit two free throws with 2:53 to play to put Newton back up by 10.

Newton is 2-0 and hosts Campus at 6 p.m. Friday.

“They are going to be a lot like Eisenhower,” Jordan said. “They are going to be scrappy. We are going to have to get out and guard hard.”

GODDARD EISENHOWER (0-2) — Howard 0 0-0 0, 0; Brungardt 5 0-0 1, 10; Graham 0 0-0 0, 0; Omli 4 4-6 4, 12; Ryan 2 0-0 2, 4; Denning 2 (2) 1-1 0, 11; Nicholson 3 0-2 3, 6; Gosch 3 3-4 4, 9; Carter 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 17 (2) 8-13 14, 50.

NEWTON (2-0) — Simmons 8 3-4 0, 19; Anderson 0 0-0 0, 0; Bartel 2 0-0 3, 4; Nichols 0 0-0 2, 0; Bacon 1 (1) 2-4 2, 7; Kernal 3 8-10 2, 14; Berry 5 0-0 2, 10; Brewer 5 0-0 3, 10; L.Antonowich 0 0-0 1, 0; Dorrell 1 0-0 0, 2; TOTALS 24 (1) 15-20 15, 66.



Technical foul — New.: Kernal.