Salina South boys basketball coach Jason Hooper wanted his team to play sharp.
Newton junior Ty Berry was just a bit better.
The NCAA Division-I prospect poured in 36 points, including seven threes, propelling the Railers to a 70-62 victory over the shorthanded Salina South Cougars Friday night as Newton High School.
Newton (11-9, 7-5 AVCTL-I) threatened to pull away early, jumping out to a 20-9 advantage early in the second frame. Salina South (8-12, 3-9) responded with a tiny 5-0 spurt, making it a 20-14 ballgame. The Railers charged past the Cougars, building a 30-16 lead, but the final four points of the half belonged to South, bringing the score to 30-20 at the break.
The Railers pushed the cushion to as many as 15, 41-26, but the Cougars clawed back to within three, following a 15-3 explosion, led by sophomores AJ Johnson and Colin Schreiber. Berry buried a trey from the left corner at the buzzer, giving Newton a 47-41 advantage.
Both teams traded blows in the final period. Berry had back-to-back triples to open the fourth, making it a double-digit game, but the Cougars didn’t go away, roaring to within three midway through the quarter.
The final Cougar push was capped by Scheiber’s third three of the contest, cutting the deficit to 65-62 with 1:19 remaining. South had a chance to crawl to a two-point tilt, but Elex Banks’ shot rimmed out and the Cougars ran out of time.
Schreiber matched a career-high with 19 points. Johnson added 16, Banks had 11 and sophomore Devon Junghans provided 10. South played without Conner Munsell, who was sick, and sophomore Josh Jordan, who tore his ACL in practice Tuesday.
The Cougars head to Wichita Heights next Thursday to open Sub-State play. Pregame at 6:45 on Y93.7.
Newton 48, Salina South 9
After making 62 percent of their shots on Monday, the Cougars couldn’t be farther from it Friday.
Salina South (6-14, 2-10 AVCTL-I) didn’t record a bucket until the 1:27 mark of the opening quarter. The Cougars scored on the next shot in the low-scoring frame, down 5-4 after one.
Newton (10-10, 7-5) swarmed South for the remainder of the contest, outscoring South 19-2 in the ensuing period, building a 24-6 halftime advantage.
Salina South looks to bounce back in the Sub-State play-in contest Monday as the Cougars host Great Bend. Pregame at 6:15 on Y93.7.