PROPHETSTOWN – If opposing teams are looking for a certain Newman boys basketball player to key in on, that’s a tough task – because there’s more than just one.
Prophetstown foud that out the hard way Friday night against the Comets, who had four players score in double figures in a 61-31 Three Rivers East win.
Led by senior forward Travis Williams’ 17 points, the Comets also had Brycen Bartel (13 points), Cade Gorzny (13), and Devon House (11) reach double digits – and all four of them did that before the fourth quarter started. Williams added his 10th point right at the third-quarter buzzer.
Newman (20-4, 7-2) has now won more than 20 games in six of the past seven seasons.
“That’s awesome,” Gorzny said. “Brycen hit some shots, and Travis, too. If we have four guys that hit shots, it’s pretty good; and if one of us is off, the other one of just picks it up.”
Prophetstown (13-15, 1-9) had an early advantage, getting out to an 8-4 lead after a right-elbow 3 from Harrison Ames. Both teams exchanged buckets after that for a 10-6 score, and that became the extent of the Prophets’ lead.
Newman came back to end the first quarter down 10-9, but Bartel hit a 3 immediately after the throw-in to start the second quarter for a 12-10 lead. Bartel’s 3 was one of five the Comets hit in the second; Gorzny added three 3-pointers, and Williams made the other.
Gorzny’s first 3 came with 5:57 left in the second quarter off a Bartel inbounds pass under the basket for a 16-10 lead. Bartel added a bucket for two more points, then missed out on two more on the Comets’ next possession – but Gorzny snatched the rebound and put back the miss to double up on the Prophets at 20-10.
Newman’s scoring streak reached 17 points, capped by a three-point play by House for a 23-10 lead.
House added 16 rebounds for a double-double.
“Coach [Ray Sharp] said that we had to take their best shot, and go from there,” Gorzny said. “We executed a lot better in this game than the last game we played [Tuesday against Princeton], and we just had more intensity overall.”
Nine turnovers hurt the Prophets in the first quarter, and nine misses out of 10 field goal tries hurt them in the second quarter. They finished just below 25 percent shooting (11-for-46).
“Credit to their defense,” Prophetstown coach Patrick Henrekin said. “The first time we played them, we shot about 9 percent from 3, so their defense made us speed up and we just took poor shots. It gives them more opportunities.”
Prophetstown has lost six straight games; its last win came Jan. 16 at St. Bede. The Prophets will play in their final home basketball game Feb. 13 against St. Bede.
Sharp is a Prophetstown graduate and got to win one final game against his alma mater before they co-op with Erie starting next season.
“This is his alma mater,” Gorzny said, “and we really wanted to get this win for him.”
Newman 61, Prophetstown 31
Star of the game: Travis Williams, Newman, 17 points, 5 rebounds
Key performers: Devon House, Newman, 11 points, 16 rebounds, 2 blocks; Brycen Bartel, Newman, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals; Cade Gorzny, Newman, 13 points; Logan Henrekin, Prophetstown, 9 points, 6 rebounds.
Up next: Prophetstown at Bureau Valley, 7 p.m. Tuesday; Newman at Kewanee, 7 p.m. Friday