Upset bid for Newton boys stalls in fourth

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton senior Jaxon Brackeen scored 19 points Friday in a 67-50 loss to Salina South at Ravenscroft Gym.
Newton junior Dylan Petz goes to the basket during play Friday against Salina South. Newton plays Tuesday at Maize.
Newton junior Joe Slechta takes on Salina South senior Colin Schreiber during play Friday at Ravenscroft Gym,
Salina South senior Darell Evans gets a slam dunk during play Friday in Newton.
Salina South sophomore Te’Jon McDaniel takes a jumper during play Friday in Newton.
Salina South senior Devon Junghans scored eight points in a 67-50 win over Newton.

The Newton High School boys basketball team had second-ranked (KBCA, Class 5A) Salina South in a dogfight for three quarters Friday night in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play at Ravenscroft Gym.

It was a 23-9 fourth quarter that paced South to the 67-50 win.

“We were just three minutes away,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We were right there. We had to guard a little bit differently. We had to pressure a little more. But for 3 1/2 quarters, we gave a phenominal effort. Elijah Edwards is a warrior, the way he defended on (Devon) Junghans. We had other guys step up — Dylan (Petz). We had to go kind of small tonight. We were without (post) Owen (Mills). We were without Cam (Carr) — missing two starters.”

“We just stopped settling and started attacking the basket more,” South coach Jason Hooper said. “They were in that triangle-and-two, taking Josh (Jordan) and Devon away on the perimeter. We weren’t very aggressive, attacking the basket, until the fourth quarter. When we did, we started getting layups.”

A.J. Johnson led South with 21 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, Josh Jordan scored 15 points, six in the fourth quarter. Colin Schreiber scored 11 points, seven in the fourth quarter.

Newton struggled with shooting and ball handling, but was only down 10-7 until South finished the quarter on a 6-0 run.

Newton got within four early in the second quarter. A 10 trey put South up by 10. The Railers replied with a 7-0 run to get back within three at the half, 27-24.

South opened the second half with a layup, followed by a 5-0 Railer run. After trading six-point runs, South was able to pull out by three at the end of the quarter, 44-41.

South opened the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run. Newton took a time out, but the Cougars added 11 more points to the run. Brackeen broke the Railer drought with a pair of free throws with 2:06 to play.

“I thought it was a really good team effort,” Preston said. “I feel bad for our kids. We just couldn’t finish it. We had a couple of chances where we couldn’t get out of our own way. … We had 23 days until sub-state to get to the point where we can finish these kind of games off.”

Newton plays third-ranked (5A) Maize at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Eagles are 10-2 after a 77-57 win over Derby.

“Maize is really good,” Preston said. “We’re about to go through a stretch of state-ranked teams — 5A and 6A. Our league is legit. We’re going to go through a battle.”

South hosts rival Salina Central Tuesday, a team that took the Cougars into overtime.

“That’s a good game to bounce back with after you played below your ability level,” Hooper said. “It’s a good rivalry game. Hopefully, our kids will get up for that. Central will be ready. They will want to make a statement after taking us into overtime.”

SALINA SOUTH (10-0, 4-0 AV-CTL I) — Schreiber 5 1-4 3, 11; Jordan 7 1-3 2, 15; Johnson 10 1-2 1, 21; Evans 2 0-0 1, 4; Junghans 1 (2) 0-0 0, 8; Hayes 0 0-0 0, 0; McDaniel 3 0-0 0, 6; Davidson 0 0-0 0, 0; Cox 0 0-0 0, 0; Barth 0 0-0 0, 0; Barber 1 0-0 0, 2; TOTALS 29 (2) 3-9 7, 67.

NEWTON (1-10, 0-4 AV-CTL I) — Ruth 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; Brackeen 4 (3) 2-2 0, 19; Petz 3 (1) 0-2 0, 9; Dorrell 0 (4) 0-0 2, 12; Slechta 1 0-0 3, 2; Woods 0 0-0 1, 0; Edwards 1 (1) 0-0 1, 5; TOTALS 8 (10) 2-4 8, .

S.South;16;11;17;23;—;67

Newton;7;17;17;9;—;50

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com.