April 22, 2024

Fourth-quarter drought plagues Newton boys in season-ending loss

Shot clock malfunction halts Cardinals’ momentum against No. 8 Winterset

Christian Lawson

WINTERSET — By the time the Newton boys’ basketball team solved Winterset’s quick, aggressive defense, a malfunctioned shot clock took back all of the Cardinals’ momentum.

Newton used a 14-0 run in the third quarter to grab a healthy advantage, but the Cardinals were outscored 18-5 in the fourth and 20-8 after a more than five minute delay because of a shot clock issue.

Turnovers, too many missed free throws and the inability to grab a defensive rebound also factored into what turned out to be a 52-46 road loss to the eighth-ranked Huskies during a Class 3A Substate 7 semifinal contest.

“We gave up too many offensive rebounds and committed too many turnovers,” Newton head boys basketball coach Jason Carter said. “Those are two things we talked about before the game. No live-ball turnovers and we had to rebound. We didn’t do those two things well down the stretch.”

Caleb Mattes

Newton, which made 55 percent of its free throws for the season, missed five of its final six from the foul line. The Cardinals also went the final five-plus minutes without a made basket from the floor.

“We battled tooth and nail. We knew it would be this type of game,” Carter said. “These guys just make you play crazy and sloppy.

“They’re undersized, but they’re tough as hell. They get after you and they play super physical. And their quickness bothered us.”

Newton held Winterset to 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Cardinals fell to 1-5 on the season when scoring fewer than 50 points. The Huskies are now just 2-6 when scoring fewer than 55.

The Cardinals led 14-13 after a back-and-forth first quarter. They led by as many as five after Nate Lampe made a reverse layup and Caleb Mattes scored on a drive to the bucket.

A Mattes 3-pointer broke an 11-all tie and put the Cardinals in front after one.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued in the second. A Hunter Teague putback and a basket by Christian Lawson made it 18-15, but back-to-back 3s by Hayden Wilmes pushed the Huskies back in front.

Wilmes added a layup off a live-ball turnover and Winterset led 25-21 at the break.

“We gave them free points without our defense being back,” Carter said. “We are pretty tough in the half-court defense, but those are huge points we gave up on those turnovers. And that probably cost us the game.”

Hunter Teague

Sam Hensley, Winterset’s big man who was in foul trouble in the first half, took over in the final two frames.

He traded buckets with Mattes to begin the third and his 3-point play put the Huskies in front 30-25. He traded hoops with Lawson, too, and his final basket of the quarter gave Winterset a 32-27 advantage.

That’s when the Cardinals went on their big run. Lawson started the 14-0 spurt with a putback and he added a spinning bucket in the lane to give the Cardinals a 33-32 lead.

Eight straight points from Caden Klein, including two 3s, ended the run as Newton led 41-32.

“We took care of the ball and took advantage of (Hensley) having three fouls,” Carter said. “We wanted to attack him out of halftime, and we knew he’d play tentative with those fouls. We did that really well. Then we stopped doing it.”

But just before Klein’s second trey, the game was stopped for more than five minutes because of a shot clock malfunction.

That allowed Winterset to regroup, and the Huskies dominated the rest of the way.

“I’m not going to blame anything or use anything as an excuse, but I think we lost momentum on the shot clock situation,” Carter said. “We went on a huge run and then we had an eight-minute break. That’s unfortunate for us because I thought it killed our momentum.

“But it’s playoff basketball. You have to be able to handle change in momentum. They went on a run after that and we never got our rhythm back offensively.”

Nate Lampe

Hensley finished with a game-high 20 points and 16 of those came in the second half. He also grabbed nine rebounds and made enough free throws down the stretch to keep Newton at arm’s length.

Winterset was 6-of-10 from the foul line in the fourth, while Newton made only 6-of-11 in the game. Hensley was 5-of-8 from the foul line in the final 2:13.

The Huskies (15-9) scored the first six of the fourth and used a 10-2 run to go back in front.

Cade Bauer made two free throws with 4:21 to play to push Newton in front 45-44. But the Cardinals hit 1-of-6 from the charity stripe after that and a few more live-ball turnovers plagued the visitors down the stretch.

Newton’s only field goal in the fourth came on a Lawson putback that extended the Cardinals’ lead to 43-40 early in the frame.

Winterset, which made only 2-of-17 from 3 but out-rebounded the Cardinals 32-23, ended the game on an 8-1 run.

“We only made four 3-pointers and as well as we’d been shooting it, I thought we would have made more,” Carter said. “We let their pressure get to us. We didn’t make the extra pass because we felt rushed. And we missed some guys, too.”

Lawson and Mattes each scored 14 points to lead Newton. Lawson chipped in eight rebounds and three assists and Mattes grabbed three boards.

Klein scored all eight of his points during the 14-0 run in the third and finished with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Caden Klein

All five of Lampe’s points came in the first and he chipped in four rebounds and three assists. Teague registered three points and two boards.

The Cardinals (11-12) shot 38 percent from the floor, made 4-of-19 from 3 and turned the ball over 17 times.

Winterset shot 41 percent from the floor and committed 13 turnovers. The Huskies were 10-of-15 from the foul line.

Wilmes had 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals for Winterset, while Hank Wilmes added four points and seven boards and Hudson Wilmes and Grant Feuring each scored six points.