DELPHI — This year’s North Newton boy’s basketball team keeps accomplishing things that haven’t been done in years and Tuesday night (March 2) they added to that list with a win in a sectional — the first time in 15 years. The Spartans knocked off sectional host Delphi 55-41.
“We talked about doing something special this year,” said North Newton coach Sam Zachery. “Our goal was to finally break that five-win mark and once we did that we kept raising the bar. Last week was kind of disappointing with the conference game loss and then blowing the lead to River Forest in the second half, but we were still learning and we are getting better.”
North Newton senior Austin Goddard paced the Spartan attack with a game-high 27 points, with 16 of those coming in the second half as his team started to pull away.
“We did a good job of attacking the basket tonight and limiting turnovers,” added Zachery. “This is the first time I’ve seen us run a stall offense successfully late in a game in the six years I have been around this program. The kids are doing a fantastic job of doing everything we ask. We make pretty detailed scouting reports, but they have to go out and execute and that’s what they did tonight. They are a great group of kids and they are content on turning this program around and I can’t be happier for them.”
Delphi grabbed an early lead in the contest ending the evenly played first quarter with a 5-0 run for a 12-9 advantage.
Senior Griffin Swank led the Spartans with four points in the opening quarter, while Goddard converted a basket plus the and one. Delphi’s Peyton Roth and Luke Smock each had five points in that first quarter.
The North Newton offense started to click in the second quarter, scoring points on nine of their 11 possessions, outscoring Delphi 16-8 for a 25-20 lead at the half.
It was a balanced scoring attack that led the Spartans in that second quarter, as six different players scored with Robbie Domonokos and Goddard leading the way with four points each, and Evan Gagnon, Swank, Cade Ehlinger, and Dylan Taylor all contributing two points.
Goddard went off to score nine points in the third quarter as North Newton pushed its advantage up to double digits after another score plus the and one at the 5:46 mark.
A 3-pointer from Dawson Jordan and floater from Roth cut the Spartan’s lead in half.
However, North Newton went on to finish the quarter with a 10-5 run to go back up by 10 points 42-32 heading into the fourth quarter. Swank and Gagnon also helped out in the frame with four points apiece.
The Spartans put the game on ice with an 8-3 run over the first three minutes of the fourth quarter.
North Newton outscored Delphi 13-9 in the fourth quarter, which is the record the Spartans improved to on the year, 13-9 overall.
Besides Goddard’s 27 points, Swank also reached double figures for North Newton finishing with 10 points in the win.
The Spartans advance to take on Rochester (16-1) Friday night.
“Obviously with a 16-1 record they are pretty good, and their one loss was to a good Lewis Cass team,” added Zachery. “I’ve heard a little bit about their strong man-to-man defense, so we are going to have to be fundamentally strong on offense. I told the kids before that records don’t matter now, everyone is 0-0, and anything can happen. We will watch some tape on them and make sure we are fully prepared to play for 32 minutes on Friday.”
For Delphi, Smock led the team with 13 points, while Roth and Jordan each had 12.