No flow for Newton boys in loss to Hornets

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton junior Joe Slechta takes a free throw during play Friday. [MARK SCHNABEL/NEWTON KANSAN]
Newton senior Jaxson Brackeen takes a shot during play Friday at Ravenscroft Gym. [MARK SCHNABEL/NEWTON KANSAN]
Newton junior Owen Mills defends the post during play Friday against Valley Center. [MARK SCHNABEL/NEWTON KANSAN]
Newton sophomore Camden Carr defends Valley Center senior Eli Isaacs during play Friday. Newton hosts Hutchinson at 6 p.m. today. [MARK SCHNABEL/NEWTON KANSAN]
Newton High School senior Elijah Edwards scored 13 points in a 64-46 loss to Valley Center Friday at Ravenscroft Gym. [MARK SCHNABEL/NEWTON KANSAN]

As the old cliché goes, the Newton High School boys’ basketball team never seemed to get into a flow on offense, falling to the Valley Center Hornets 64-46 Friday in non-league play at Ravencroft gym.

Newton was 16 of 56 from the field with 15 turnovers. Valley Center was 28 of 54 shooting with 17 turnovers.

“Let’s give Valley Center credit. They did a good job with their pressure early,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We didn’t get the game sped up enough. We didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half. We had open shots. You have to make them. We’re not going to dwell on it. I don’t fault our effort. We’re going to shoot the ball better. We have some younger guys who still haven’t played a lot of varsity. The biggest takeaway is the turnovers. We have to address the turnovers. We have to play smarter with the ball. We had too many unforced turnovers.”

Valley Center, 6-1, was led by Eli Isaacs with 16 points. Gabe Phillips scored 15 points.

Newton was led by Elijah Edwards with 13 points.

Newton was three of 13 shooting in the first quarter, while Valley Center was 10 of 20 to take a 20-8 lead. Both teams struggled on offense in the second  quarter, but Valley Center was able to take a 31-16 lead at the half.

Each team improved its offense slightly in the third quarter. Valley Center extended its lead to 21 at the end of the period, 51-30. Newton was able to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter.

“I will commend our effort tonight,” Preston said. “The kids were scrappy. They were playing for each other. We have to get ready for a quick turnaround.

Newton is 0-4 and hosts 0-3 Hutchinson at 6 p.m. today at Ravenscroft Gym. Tuesday’s game at home against Salina South has been postponed.

“We have to get some rest,” Preston said. “We have to keep (Hutchinson) off the boards. They have a transfer from Buhler who is pretty good. He’s a nice player inside. He’s really skilled. He’s a good passer out of the post. Thet can really rebound. That’s another issue we’re going to have to address. With our size, we have to box out and fight to keep teams off the boards.”

VALLEY CENTER (6-1) — Harden 4 0-0 0, 8; Isaacs 8 0-1 2 16; Ashley 1 0-0 2, 2; Schmelzle 2 0-0 1, 4; Dalrymple 2 0-0 1, 4; Wilson 2 0-0 1, 4; Phillips 2 (3) 5-6 2, 15; Simmons 4 0-0 1, 8; TOTALS 25 (3) 5-7 10, 64.

NEWTON (0-4) — Ruth 0 (10 0-0 2, 3; Brackeen 2 0-0 3, 4; Petz 1 (1) 0-0 1, 5; Dorrell 1 (1) 1-2 0, 6; Slechta 0 1-2 3, 1; Carr 0 (2) 0-0 3, 6; Mills 1 (1) 3-4 1, 8; Edwards 3 (2) 1-1 2, 13; TOTALS 8 (8) 6-9 15, 46.



Mark Schnabel can be reached at