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Newcastle boys end hoops season with 17-11 record

The Newcastle boys’ basketball team saw its season come to a close last Saturday night during the Class 4A area tournament inside the Warrior Event Center at Washington High School.

On Friday night, Newcastle lost to Classen SAS, 64-46, which sent Classen SAS to the Class 4A state tournament this week.

The Racers lost to the Broken Bow Savages, 50-49, last Saturday evening to end their season with a nice 17-11 record.

Against the Classen SAS Comets, Newcastle allowed them to go on a 9-2 before halftime that gave the Comets a 31-19 lead at the break.

In the third quarter, the Comets kept piling it on the Racers and led after the period, 50-30. It was not a pretty sight for Newcastle.

“We played terrible,” Newcastle head coach Jessie Brown said. “There weren’t many bright spots tonight for us. The damn flu bug is wearing us out. Andrew Shumard and Cooper Baldwin have the flu. It was a rough night for our boys.

“We just have to forget about this loss because it comes down to whomever is the toughest team will make it to state. Classen did a great job tonight. They were the tougher team. They ran their system and they didn’t chance anything from the first time that they played us.”

Kalub Hunt had 17 points to lead Newcastle against the Comets. Classen SAS (ranked No. 12 in Class 4A with a 17-8 record under head coach Kendal Cudjoe) was led by Anthony Turner’s 22 points and Ben Patrick’s 21 points.

Newcastle beat Classen SAS, 63-57, during the Sweet Pea Invitational tournament back on Jan. 23. The Comets, though, looked like a much improved team last Friday evening.

“Those were their main guys,” Brown said of Turner and Patrick. “We were just out of it tonight. We didn’t play anything like we have been for the last month and a half. It was discouraging but this is new to our kids. Making it this far into the playoffs makes you nervous as a player. I tried to get the jitterbugs out of them.”

Newcastle dropped a heart breaker to Broken Bow, who goes onto the state tournament with a No. 6 ranking and a 21-7 record under head coach Ryan Woolsey. Newcastle played much better Saturday.

The Racers led Broken Bow, 13-7, after the first quarter and 17-15 at halftime. The Savages cut into the Newcastle lead with a 13-0 run toward the end of the first half.

When Hunt scored with 4:52 left in the third quarter, the bucket gave Newcastle its biggest lead by eight points at 23-15. Broken Bow went on an 8-3 run to make the score 26-23 with 2:33 left in the third. The Racers had a 35-28 lead after three quarters of play.

In the fourth quarter, Broken Bow took a 39-38 advantage with 3:48 to go following a three-pointer from Josh Jones, who led all scorers with 28 points in the contest. Jones drained two free throws with less than six seconds left to give the Savages a 50-46 lead.

Andrew Shumard drained a `trey’ at the buzzer but it was too little, too late for the Racers.

“Shumard hit the ‘three’ at the buzzer but it wasn’t the game winner,” Brown said. “They are a good team. That No. 12 (Josh Jones) is a good player. We did a good job with them for three-and-a-half quarters. But, No. 12 is one of those kids who does not like to lose. When they put the ball in his hands, he made some outstanding plays.

“He took it upon himself and he was determined he wasn’t going to lose this game tonight... impressive. He wanted that victory. The last three minutes? I don’t think we played as tough as we needed to. They played tougher than us and that was the deciding factor right there. We had our chances.”

Hunt led Newcastle with 20 points and Shumard had 13 against Broken Bow. Brown was pleased of his team’s accomplishments this year.

“I told my guys that I was proud of them,” Brown said. “We had our chances to win the game but things didn’t go our way. We had a few bad possessions and a few bad calls down the stretch. I just told the guys keep your heads up and that I’m proud of them.

“We had a hell of a season. They fought their butts off through adversity. Our kids played hard and they went out swinging. I told them not to play nervous and be afraid of getting after it like we were last night. We were ready for the fight.”

The Newcastle Pacer

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