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The opening five minutes couldn’t have gone much worse for 14th
seeded Newark in its Plano Christmas Classic opener against Burlington
Central. The rest of the game -- a 61-49 victory -- couldn’t have gone
“The first two minutes we looked like we were back in seventh grade,”
Norseman coach Rick Tollefson said after his team turned the ball over
on its first four possessions.
They trailed 6-0, 9-2 and 14-4 before getting their legs under them.
“I was ready to go Christmas shopping,” continued Tollefson. “But we
did a nice job of collecting ourselves.”
Did they ever, reeling off 13 straight points and taking a 17-14 lead
when senior guard Grant Riehle-Moeller’s 3-pointer beat the quarter
Central coach Brett Porto had his team play a box-and-one, shadowing
Newark’s leading scorer, 6-foot-4 senior Brett Anderson.
“Anderson scores about 22 a game for them and you’ve gotta take
something away,” said Porter, whose club’s three-game winning streak
was snapped, dropping them to 3-8.
“Unfortunately, some of their role guys showed up tonight. I wish we
could have contested some shots a little bit more. I thought we had
some lapses, defensively, with our rotations.”
Anderson, who plays any position on the floor from post to point,
finished with just 13 points, but three of his teammates picked up the
Newark had 7, 6 and 6 turnovers in each of the first three quarters
and finished with 22 for the game, but the Norsemen hit 6 of 12 from
beyond the arc and shot 52 percent (20-38) from the field.
Riehle-Moeller led the way with 17 points, freshman center Jack
Clausel added 16 and guard Joseph Hughes matched Anderson’s 13.
The Norsemen had 15 assists on their 20 field goals. and claimed a
32-17 advantage on the boards with Anderson picking off 11 and Clausel
Central, which got 13 points from senior Moter Deng and 10 fronm
forward Ryan Ritchie, in his fifth game back from a torn thumb
ligament, made just 5 of 22 shots from beyond the arc against the
Newark zone trap.
“We’re getting back to where we were at the Sycamore tournament,”
said Tollefson, whose club is now 7-4. “Grant (Riehle-Moeller) missed
time with a concussion and Joe (Hughes) was in his second game back
after missing three games with a broken foot.”