NEVADA — Up by seven points in Thursday’s non-conference game against Nevada, Newton High’s Cardinals benefited from an 18-6 second quarter to achieve separation. The Cardinals held a 36-17 halftime lead over the hosting Cubs.
Newton maintained its lead throughout the second half as senior Garrett Sturtz took control of the game. Sturtz scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. The Cardinals posted a 63-45 win to end the first semester of play.
The Cardinals improved to 5-2 overall while the Cubs fell to 3-6.
“Our offensive execution and defensive energy was fantastic tonight, and the score reflected that,” Newton head coach Bill Liley said. “Our guys are excited about Christmas break. The team played really well so we could end the first half of our season on a positive note.”
Sturtz scored six points — all free throws — in the first half. Junior Aaron Bartels and sophomore Kyle Long delivered from long range for the Cardinals. Long scored his 12 points on four 3-pointers in the first half while Bartels knocked down three treys.
Bartels had the only other points in the second half besides Sturtz. He hit another 3-pointer to finish with 16 points.
Newton put back-to-back 18-point quarters together for its first-half lead. The Cardinals were up 18-11 after one period of play then outscored the Cubs by 12 in the second quarter.
Nevada held a 12-10 scoring edge in the third period, but Newton still enjoyed a 17-point lead — 46-29. The Cardinals capped the win by holding court — 17-16 — in the final eight minutes of play.
Sturtz, who is the second-leading scorer in Class 4A averaging 34 points a game, went 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in the game. He was the lone Cardinal to hit free throws as the team went 14-of-16.
Sturtz has 234 points through seven games this season. He is behind Muscatine’s Joe Wieskamp in Class 4A scoring. Wieskamp has 246 points through seven games, averaging 35 points a game, and will play a game on Friday.
Om’Unique Wilkerson had 15 points for Nevada. The Cubs were 2-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Newton shot 42 percent, 20-of-48, from the field. The Cardinals were 9-of-27 from 3-point range. Nevada finished at 38 percent, 20-of-53, from the field.
“The guys deserve a nice break to enjoy Christmas with their families,” Liley said. “We will begin practicing again on Dec. 27.”
Newton opens the second-half of the season on Jan. 5 at Class 3A 10th-ranked Pella in Little Hawkeye Conference play. The Cardinals are 2-2 in conference games.
Newton won the junior varsity game 39-34. Logan Schilling drained eight 3-pointers for his team-high 26 points for the Cardinals.
Newton (FG/3-pt): Sturtz 8-14-1-30, Davis 0-0-2-0, Long 0/4-0-1-12, Garvis 1/1-0-0-5, Bartels 2/4-0-1-16, Coley 0-0-3-0. TOTALS: 11/9-14-8-63.
Nevada (FG/3-pt): Stahl 2-2-0-6, See 1-0-4-2, Higgins 2-0-2-4, Sansgaard 1/2-0-0-8, Strottman 2-0-2-4, Wilkerson 6/1-0-2-15, Bottorf 2-0-0-4, Cahill 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 17/3-2-13-45.
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