It was Senior Night Friday, Feb. 14, for the Newton Boys basketball team as well as the cheerleaders and team managers.
After all the seniors were recognized and posed with their parents for photographs, the Newton Eagles defeated the Olney Tigers, 57-49, in a game that had seven Newton senior players – Evan Schafer, Jarrett Tharp, Kyle Schafer, Justin Zumbahlen, Seth Weber, Jerald Eckl and Noah Wright -- producing all the points. Seniors Will Ochs and Parker Eaton also joined in the win.
Newton jumped out ahead early, leading 17-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles were executing well on offense with fine shooting from and grabbing rebounds for second helping points. But the Tigers got their bearings and matched Newton with 15 points in the second quarter. Newton did end the first half with a 32-27 lead.
The game then became a dogfight with battles under the basket and some timely steals by both teams. Olney finally gained the lead in the fourth quarter, but it did not last long. Newton hit some baskets and widened its lead with free throws. The Eagles were 18 for 23 from the free throw line and sank five 3-pointers during the game.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Newton started to widen its lead by six points. They scored 16 points in the final quarter, while Olney could only manage 11 points. With the final seconds ticking away, it was time for the Newton players and their fans to celebrate win 16 for the 2019-20 season.
Kyle Schafer led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points. Jarrett Tharp also scored in the double digits with 12, connecting on 8 for 8 with free throws. Evan Schafer, Weber and Zumbahlen each scored 8 points. Wright dropped in 3 points and Eckl added a free throw.
The Newton Junior Varsity squad won a barnburner 48-44, which went down to the final minute before the Eagles clinched it. Mason Schafer led the Eagles on scoring with 16 points. Ben Meinhart scored 12 points.
Newton wins over Pana, 69-63, in Saturday contest
On Feb. 15, the Eagles won against Pana, 69-63.
Playing again on their home floor, Newton kept ahead through the first two quarters. They had the lead at the half, 33-27. In the fourth quarter, Pana made a comeback by pumping in 22 points, but came up short in the final minutes with the Eagles countering with 16 points in the final eight minutes.
Kyle Schafer led on scoring with 20 points. Jarrett Tharp pumped in 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Evan Schafer was a wizard from the free-throw line, sinking 9 or 12 attempts, plus a basket. Noah Wright had 8 and Aaron Einhorn 6 points. The win improved Newton’s record to 17-12 for the season with postseason play approaching.
The Newton Junior Varsity team also won over Pana, 41-35. Mitchell Zumbahlen led the JV squad with 12 points. Mason Schafer and Einhorn added 9 points each in the win.