The Newburg boys basketball team (10-7) wrapped up the St. James Tournament against Salem in the seventh place game on Friday, Jan. 19. The Wolves were without their leading scorer in Ryan Terry, but still managed to force overtime against the Tigers. Salem had a little more gas in the tank to pull out a 51-57 win.
Newburg had to get creative with their offense without Terry. In doing so, they leaned heavily on their other veterans. Caleb Austin and Travis McWilliams each scored four points in the first, while Landen Callahan added a three in the first quarter. Salem had two threes and a total of eight points from Nate Bray to give the Tigers an early 13-11 lead.
The Wolves came out in the second and knocked down a pair of threes to help jumpstart the offense a bit. Callahan and McWilliams each hit a three and scored five points a piece in the second, which helped propel the Wolves into the half with a 23-22 lead.
The third quarter saw almost no offense from either side. Each team scored just four points in the quarter and Newburg made the only shot from the field. Salem made four free throws in the quarter, while Callahan scored from the field and McWilliams added two more free throws. The defense-heavy quarter helped Newburg hold onto their slim lead going into the fourth.
Newburg got some different players involved in the the fourth. Hunter Mentola scored seven points in the fourth quarter, which included a three. Mentola was the only Newburg player to score more than two points in the quarter. Salem got six points from Jordan Shultz and five points from Reece Dodson, outscoring Newburg 16-15 in the fourth to tie the game at 42 and force overtime.
Salem was able to run away with things in overtime thanks to five points from Carter Chilton and four more free throws from Bray. Callahan was the only Newburg player to score in the overtime with five points. Salem went on to take home a 51-47 overtime win.
"I can take more value out of that game than the first two games," said head coach Logan Ray after the game. "We got some bench experience and some confidence in that. We didn't shoot the ball extremely well tonight, but I thought our shots looked good and we moved the ball well."
Coach Ray liked the fact that new players had to step up for the Wolves without Terry in the lineup. Callahan stepped up on the scoring front with 17 points, while McWilliams added another 13. Hunter Mentola had a nice game with nine points. The experience, especially late in the fourth quarter and overtime, should pay off for some of the more inexperienced players like Mentola.
"(Terry) is a big part of what we do, he handles the ball for us, but we had some other guards step up tonight," said Ray. "They kind of have to be put in spots that are different for them. That's the positive that I take out of it."
Newburg returned home for the first time since Jan. 5 for a Frisco League matchup against Iberia on Tuesday, Jan. 23, but results were not available at press time. They'll remain at home for their next game when they host Steelville on Friday, Jan. 26.