NORWALK — Over the course of a basketball season, there are bound to be a few games that just get away from a team for one reason or another.
For the Newton boys basketball team, one of those happened Friday night in Norwalk.
The Cardinals (2-1, 0-1 Little Hawkeye Conference) were held scoreless in the first quarter while Norwalk shot lights out from the field in what turned out to be a 64-30 victory for the home team.
“They came out and they were just on fire,” Newton coach Nick Wilkins said of Norwalk. “We didn’t come out and execute the game plan we worked on, but sometimes that happens so we just have to move on. We’ll get better and hopefully use this as a learning experience.”
Although the Cardinals were getting shots off against a stout Warrior defense in the first quarter, nothing wanted to fall for them. Meanwhile, Norwalk junior Austin Lavelle scored six of the game’s first 10 points from outside shooting. Inside, 6-foot-8 Norwalk senior Carson Miller was a nightmare for the Cardinals on the offensive boards. When all was said and done after the first quarter, Newton trailed 21-0.
Newton’s offense recovered some in the second quarter, but Norwalk remained hot. Senior Collin Reynolds scored the Cards’ first points of the game at the 5:57 mark on an old-fashioned three-point play, which also sparked baskets from fellow seniors Andrew Clements and Jesse Bates. However, when Norwalk had drained its fourth 3-pointer of the half, Newton still trailed 38-13 at the break.
“I’ve been in that situation as a player and it’s tough,” Wilkins said. “You feel like you’re playing hard, but maybe the motor’s just not running as hard as it sometimes does for you, then they start hitting shots. It’s a strange thing, and it’s just hard to come back from that.”
Norwalk didn’t let up in the third quarter, going on a quick 15-6 run to wide the gap for the Cards. Miller continued to grab rebounds on either side of the floor, contributing to his double-double of 20 points and 10 boards. Baskets from Clements and Bates mixed with threes from sophomore Tyler Wood and junior Nick Glotfelty put the Cards in double digits for the quarter, but the deficit had grown to 55-24 by then.
“Miller was the one that missed some shots, but we weren’t blocking him out and he was getting his own rebounds,” Wilkins said. “It doesn’t matter if someone’s missing their shots when they can get the rebound every time.”
Neither team did much damage in the fourth quarter as both benches started to see significant playing time. The Cards got one more bucket from Bates, two points from sophomore Devin Shores and one from freshman Joe Banfield to wrap up what was a difficult night on both sides of the ball. However, the team didn’t seen too discouraged after the game, and was viewing it as an irregularity.
“We just put the first half behind us because there was nothing we could do at that point,” Wilkins said. “We wanted to compete, and we were able to do some of the things we talked about doing at halftime. They just need to trust and listen to us as coaches, because we’ll put them in the best possible spot to succeed.”
The Cards will try to put the loss in the past tonight when they host Marshalltown in nonconference action.
Norwalk 64, Newton 30
Newton — 0 13 11 6 — 30
Norwalk — 21 17 17 9 — 64
Newton — Bates 6, Clements 6, Wood 5, Allen 3, Glotfelty 3, Reynolds 3, Thompson 2, Banfield 1, Shores 1
Norwalk — Miller 20, Lavelle 16, Greenslade 8, Grant 6, Wright 5, French 3, Pappan 3, Rasonske 3