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Railer boys struggle in second half against Maize

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton junior Dylan Petz guards Maize sophomore Avery Johnson during play Tuesday in Maize.
Newton senior Elijah Edwards looks for a shot during play Tuesday at Maize.
Newton junior Tanner Dorrell scored 15 points in a 68-45 loss to Maize Tuesday in Maize. The Railers play Friday at Hutchinson.

MAIZE — The Newton High School boys’ basketball team made a strong showing in the first half against third-ranked (Class 5A, KBCA) Maize, but lost its rhythm in the second half, falling 68-45 Saturday in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play in Maize.

Newton was outscored 36-16 in the second half.

“I thought the first half, we loaded it up scoring early,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We had a series of turnovers, they had run-out dunks. It looked like the game was going to get away from us. Our guys were really resilient. We called that time out, and we handled adversity. Tanner Dorrell hit some big shots. Our guards were under control and we were really patient on offense.

“The second half was another story. Some of that was Maize’s doing. They really pound the glass. They kicked us on the glass. Defensively, we didn’t guard at all in the second half. We did for about three or four minutes, then it kind of went out the window. We didn’t rotate on the back side and led them get in the lane. You can’t defend live-ball turnovers.”

Newton led by three late in the first quarter. Keegan Herrod hit two free throws with .5 seconds remaining to get the Eagles within one, 14-13.

Maize opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run. Newton cut the lead to two only to give up another run and trail by eight. A Joe Slechta jumper, followed by a Maize turnover and a Dorrell 3-pointer at the buzzer got Newton within three at the half, 32-29.

Maize made a 5-0 run to start the third quarter and led 49-37 at the end of the period. Maize continued to pull away in the fourth quarter.

Kyle Grill scored 17 points for Maize, 12-2. Jacon Hanna scored 15. Mason Belcher scored 12.

Dorrell led Newton with 15 points. Jaxon Brackeen added 10 points.

Newton plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hutchinson.

“They are going to play in the half-court and they are going to execute their stuff,” Preston said.

NEWTON (1-11, 0-5 AV-CTL I) — Ruth 0 0-0 2, 0; Brackeen 2 (1) 3-4 4, 10; Petz 1 0-0 0, 2; Dorrell 0 (4) 3-5 0, 15; Slechta 2 1-3 1, 5; Woods 1 1-2 2, 3; Mills 3 0-0 0, 6; Edwards 1 2-2 1, 4; TOTALS 10 (5) 10-17 10, 45.

MAIZE (12-2, 4-3 AV-CTL I) — Harrod 1 (1) 2-2 3, 7; Grill 3 (3) 2-2 2, 17; Johnson 4 1-2 3, 9; Stephens 0 0-0 0, 0; Hanna 7 1-1 4, 15; Bing 0 (1) 0-0 1, 3; Belcher 3 (2) 0-0 3, 12; Stover 0 0-0 0, 0; Gustafson 3 1-4 2, 5; Reyes 0 0-0 0, 0; Schmidt 0 0-0 0, 0; Williams 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 20 (7) 7-11 17, 68.

Newton;14;16;8;8;—;45

Maize;13;19;17;19;—;68

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