Railer boys hit from outside to stop streak

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton senior Jaxon Brackeen, right, scored 23 points Tuesday in a 66-47 win over Salina Central. The Railer snap a 12-game losing streak.
Newton senior Max Ruth blocks a shot by Salina Central sophomore Kenyon McMillan.
Newton senior Elijah Edwards guards Salina South senior Reed McHenry. Newton hosts Derby Thursday to end the regular season.
Salina Central senior Caden Kickhaefer guards Newton senior Max Ruth during play Tuesday at Newton. Kickhaefer scored 19 points in a 66-47 loss at Newton.
Salina Central junior Micah Moore takes a shot duing play Tuesday at Newton.
Salina Central sophomore Kenyon McMillan handles the ball during play Tuesday at Newton. Central ends the regular season Thursday at home against Arkansas City.

Salina Central rolled the deuces, but the Newton Railer boys’ basketball team hit the treys, along with a 66-47 win Tuesday night in non-league play at Ravenscroft Gym.

The Railers also snap a 12-game losing streak, improving to 2-17.

“We shot it well for once,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “… It was great to see the guys take open shots and shoot them with confidence. Jaxon (Brackeen) led the charge again and Tanner Dorrell. The guys I want to highlight are Max Ruth and Elijah Edwards. Max did a phenomenal job of (Caden) Kickhaefer. With Owen (Mills) out, we don’t have a lot of size. Max stepped up and guarded the tar out of him. Elijah is probably one of the best on-ball defenders in the state of Kansas — he’s the epitome of the tough basketball player.”

Newton was 22 of 44 from the field, 12 of 24 from 3-point range. Central was 18 of 46 from the field, but just two of 18 from 3-point range.

“Newton shot it outstanding,” Central coach Ryan Modin said. “They shot the three really well. They played with a lot of energy and we didn’t. You have to give them a lot of credit for playing really well. We had too many droughts where didn’t hit shots. We did not shoot well from the three.”

Jaxon Brackeen led Newton with 23 points. Tanner Dorrell scored 19 points, hitting five of six from 3-point range.

“A lot of people stepped up,” Brackeen said. “Colby Gomez played his first varsity game. Tanner Dorrell stepped up big. He hasn’t been scoring the last couple games. I think he scored 19 tonight. Max Ruth doesn’t score a lot, but he came out firing. Elijah Edwards, Dylan Petz, everybody was hitting shots tonight. Everybody stepped up. It felt really good. Our train is moving and we’re ready for Derby Thursday. Then we have Topeka West, the no. 1 seed.”

“Tanner Dorrell really stepped up and hit some big shots in the game,” Newton senior Elijah Edwards said. “In four years, as a freshman I was doing pretty well on offense from middle school. Defensively, I was doing well. I was on JV, striving to make varsity. It was a great brotherhood going with the team. We still have a great brotherhood with our seniors. It’s a great season right now. Our record doesn’t show how good we are. We’re playing the best teams in the state right now. A lot of them are ranked or were ranked this season.”

“It was fun to finally get another win,” Newton senior Max Ruth said. “It was a great experience on senior night. Tanner Dorrell really helped us. He stepped up in a big way. He made a lot of shots. It’s just crazy to think about how much I have changed over the years and how much the team has progressed over all this time.”

With Mills injured, Newton sophomore Jayden Woods saw more playing time. Freshman Colby Gomez also was brought up and made his varsity debut.

“We made that decision about 24 hours ago,” Preston said. “We have to get some guys with physicality and we just put them out there.”

Central, 6-13, was led by Kickaefer with 19 points and Reed McHenry with 11.

Trailing 10-5, Central’s McHenry racked up a 5-0 run. Brackeen answered for Newton with a 5-0 run, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Brackeen extended his run with a trey to open the second quarter.

Central got caught trading twos for threes in the second quarter. A Max Ruth 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in the half put Newton up 31-20.

It was more of the same in the third quarter. A Dorrell three with four seconds left put Newton up 49-32. 

Neither team scored for the first 2 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter. Kickhaefer hit

Central’s first 3-pointer of the game with 4:13 to play, getting the Mustangs within 15.

Central hosts Arkansas City at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to end the regular season.

“They are a tough team, well coached,” Modin said. “They play good defense. They will do the same thing, try to spread you out and drive on you.”

Newton closes out the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at home against Derby.

“It’s going to be a different type of game,” Preston said. “This game was a half-court game, a little slower. Derby is going to try and speed the game up. It’s going to be a system like we used to play. We’re going to have to be strong with the ball. We’re going to have to get some rest and hydrate well.”

NEWTON BOYS 66, SALINA CENTRAL 47

SALINA CENTRAL (6-13) — Loud-Jones 0 0-0 0, 0; Vidricksen 0 0-0 1, 0; Ruffin 1 (1) 0-0 1, 5; McMillan 0 0-0 5, 0; Losey 0 0-0 0, 0; Kavanaugh 0 2-2 2, 2; Gary 0 0-0 0, 0; Drake 0 1-2 0, 1; Moore 3 1-1 0, 7; Puckett 0 2-2 1, 2; McHenry 5 1-1 2, 11; Kickhaefer 7 (1) 2-6 2, 19; TOTALS 16 (2) 9-14 16, 47.

NEWTON (2-17) — Ruth 1 (1) 0-0 3, 5; Petz 0 (2) 0-0 1, 6; Dorrell 2 (5) 0-0 2, 19; Slechta 2 0-1 0, 4; Woods 0 0-0 0, 0; Brackeen 4 (2) 9-10 4, 23l Castro 0 0-0 1, 0; Entz 0 0-0 0, 0; Gomez 0 0-0 1, 0; Zerger 0 0-0 0 0; Edwards 1 (2) 0-0 2, 8; TOTALS 10 (12) 10-13 14, 66.

S.Central;10;10;12;15;—;47

Newton;15;16;18;17;—;66

Technical foul — SC: McHenry. New.: Brackeen.