Effingham Daily News
While Newton overcame a scoreless first quarter to push Effingham for three quarters, they never totally overcame the 9-0 deficit they faced after one quarter.
Fast forward three quarters, and that nine-point lead was the final margin of victory as Effingham downed Newton 51-42.
The Flaming Heart defense was able to control the temp from the tip, allowing Effingham to play its deliberate style and not allowing Newton to push the tempo.
"It was very uncomfortable,' said Effingham coach Ron Reed. "We played a great first quarter defensively and shut them down. But we had our chance to get up maybe 14, 15-0 there and we let them hang around. "
Points were at a premium in the first quarter, as both teams struggled early. Eventually, Clark Williamson and Leighton Lark got the offense going on three Williamson layups and three free throws by Lark.
Newton's offensive drought ended nine seconds into the second quarter, as Keith Butler hit a layup.
That jumpstarted the offense, and despite trailing 16-4 with five minutes remaining, Newton cut the lead to 17-13 as both teams regrouped in the locker rooms.
"I don't know if they played better defense in the first quarter than in the other quarters,' said Newton coach Doug Mammoser.
Effingham pushed back out in front as the third quarter began, riding Josh and Jake Stombaugh. A three by Josh with 4:52 remaining gave Effingham a 28-17 lead, rivaling their biggest lead of the night.
Still, there was no quit in the Eagles, as five quick points by both Dylan Davidson and Luke Stone briefly cut the lead to 31-28.
Down by five with 6:54 remaining, Corey Davidson was fouled on a three pointer and drilled all three, making it 36-34 Newton.
It would not last, and while Newton got within three or four points multiple times in the fourth quarter, but were never able to get over the hump.
Effingham put the game away from the free throw line, as both Davidson and Stone fouled out by the game's end.
Turnovers made the difference, as Newton committed nearly 20 on the night and Effingham kept them off balance all night.
"You can't turn the ball over that many times, it's too many possessions,' Mammoser said. "They're an excellent team, with as much talent as we'll see. "
The defense continued to haunt Newton all game, as the pressure mounted as the game went on.
"I thought our kids did a good job on that, taking them out of what they wanted to do,' Reed said. "We tried to stay in front of their guys off the dribble, which is very tough.'
Dylan Davidson scored 13 points, while Stone and Butler each had nine.
Josh Stombaugh led the Hearts with 14 points and Williamson added 11 points of his own.
Newton (20-4) continues its recent gauntlet of a schedule, heading back to face Robinson Friday for the second time is as many weeks.
Effingham (14-5) resumes Apollo Conference play Friday night, heading to face the Mattoon Green Wave.
Effingham 51, Newton 42
Newton 0 13 15 14 - 42
Effingham 9 8 16 18 - 51
Newton - Johnson 3, D. Davidson 13, Stone 9, C. Davidson 8, Butler 9
Effingham - Lark 7, Frey 1, Ja. Stombaugh 8, Keith 7, Jo. Stombaugh 14, Williamson 11