The Newburg boys basketball team (7-1) hosted Vienna for their final game before Christmas on Friday, Dec. 15. The Wolves went back and forth with Vienna all night long, but Ryan Terry went off for 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead Newburg to a 63-57 win.
Newburg and Vienna opened their game on Friday night by trading offensive runs at the beginning of the game. The Wolves scored the first four points of the contest, but Vienna came back with the next four points to the the game. A basket by Tristan Wofford opened things up for Newburg, as they were able to build a comfortable lead in the middle of the quarter. Vienna wouldn't let that lead last long though, as they were able to cut that lead to one with 31 seconds left to play in the opening frame before Isaac Weider buried a deep three to give the Eagles their first lead of the contest. Newburg was able to tie the game at 14, but Weider buried another three with five seconds left in the quarter to give Vienna a 17-14 lead through the first frame.
Vienna was able to stretch their lead out to five points early in the second thanks to some costly turnovers, but Newburg charged back. The Wolves went on a 7-0 run after trailing 21-16 to take a 23-21 lead after Terry scored and added a free throw midway through the second. Vienna was able to get that lead down to one point, but Newburg stayed out in front for the rest of the quarter to carry a 27-25 lead into the half.
The Eagles wouldn't let Newburg get comfortable though, as Vienna came out in the third quarter and scored the first eight points to take a 33-27 lead. Newburg called a timeout to settle down a little just over two minutes into the quarter and were able to get on the scoreboard with a basket by Wofford less than a minute later. Vienna was able to maintain their lead for most of the quarter, but Landen Callahan hit a three with 1:09 left in the third to tie the game at 39. Vienna was able to score the next four points before a layup by Wofford cut the Vienna lead to 43-41 going into the fourth quarter.
That's when Terry took the game over. The Newburg senior gave Newburg the lead by hitting a layup and a free throw a minute into the quarter and scored the first nine points by either team in the fourth to put Newburg in the drivers seat for good. Vienna finally scored to end the Wolves' run, but Newburg held onto their lead for the remainder of the game. Terry would go on to score the first 12 points Newburg had in the fourth and a total of 13 in the final frame. Vienna was able to get to as close as three points, but the Wolves were able to escape with a 63-57 win.
Terry said he wasn't worried about how many points he scored, he just wanted to do what he needed to in order to get the win.
"(I was just) being a leader. I have no idea how many points I score or anything like that, statistics mean nothing, I just did the best I could to get that W for my team," said Terry after the game. "My brothers, we fought tonight. We did everything we had to do to get the win. We came together and we won the quarter. It was a proud moment for us."
Newburg head coach Logan Ray was proud to see his team step up when they needed to in a highly competitive game.
"It was back and forth the whole game and Ryan was able to hit some big shot there, Landen Callahan stepped up and hit a big three for us to tie the game," said coach Ray. "I thought it was on the defensive end. Vienna is such a good rebounding team and we crashed hard and I would say that we won the rebounding battle tonight. Just totally pleased with our effort tonight."
While Terry doesn't worry about stats, he put up big numbers in the win. The senior scored 26 points to lead Newburg to victory. Callahan added 16 points, while Wofford added another 14. This win put Newburg at 7-1 for the second straight year and gives them a little momentum heading into a break for Christmas. Newburg won two straight games that they trailed in the fourth quarter, which shows the fight that this senior heavy group has.
"It's huge. We were 7-1 last year, which is where we're at at this point and we lost some good seniors. We lost two All-District players, two All-Conference players," said Terry. "For this team, we didn't really know what we had and we're surprising everyone."
Coach Ray echoed Terry's sentiments on how well his team has performed heading into Christmas.
"I couldn't be more pleased with our eight game start to the season," said Ray. "We were 7-1 last year to start the season and we started this season 7-1, so that's a positive. We'll have a couple of days off and we'll practice next week and try to get geared up for the Linn Tournament."
The Wolves will play in the Linn Tournament for their final action of 2017. The tournament will kick off on Wednesday, Dec. 27.