The Newton High School boys’ basketball team caught the hot hand early on offense to hand Goddard an 80-58 defeat Tuesday in non-league play at Ravenscroft Gym.

“You have to be the aggressor in the game of basketball, and I thought we were tonight,” Newton coach Andy Preston said. “We shoot the ball, and we did that tonight. Our half-court defense was better tonight. We had a lot of time to work on it, since we didn’t play Hutch. We put on a lot of ball pressure. The guys are buying into their roles and into their jobs with our defense. We had a little lull in the second quarter when we missed our assignments. Credit our guys, in the second half, they made the adjustments.”

Newton entered the game with the highest scoring average in Class 5A, but also had the highest defensive average. Newton held Goddard to 19 points under the Railers’ defensive average. It was the second-best defensive outing for the team this season.

“There was a big emphasis over Christmas that we have to get more stops,” Preston said. “We’re getting the turnovers. We’re doing better in our press. We have to get better in the half-court. We didn’t rebound as well as I’d like, but Goddard is a good rebounding team and they let them play under the basket. Rebounding, it was like free range, you can do whatever you wanted.

“Owen Mills was battling his tail off. He didn’t get a couple calls he should have. Jaxon Brackeen was battling his tail off. Kolyn Sauceda was sicker than a dog, but he was battling his tail off. He’s not a big guy, but he’s willing to battle in there and get his nose bloody. Another guy was Max Ruth. He was a lot tougher this year than last year.”

The Railers were led by Brackeen with 19 points, followed by Alex Krogmeier with 16, Sauceda with 12 and Mills with 10.

Goddard, 1-7, was led by Blake Mitchell with 17 points. Peyton Crawford scored 15 and Jackson LeFevre added 10.

Newton jumped out 8-0 in the first two minutes of play. Goddard pulled back within four, 11-7, but the Railers made an 8-0 run to force a Lion time out. A Payton Crawford 30-foot shot at the buzzer cut the Railer lead to 13, 29-16.

The Railers cooled off from the field in the second quarter, allowing Goddard to stick around. Leading 46-29, the Railers gave up a 7-1 run, allowing the Lions to cut the lead to 11 at the half, 47-36.

Newton opened the second half with a Brackeen trey and a Krogmeier layup to force a Lion time out. Kolyn Sauceda capped the run with a layup. Goddard replied with a 6-0 run. Newton pulled back out by 23 at the end of the period, 69-46.

Goddard scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, despite just two of seven free throw shooting.

Newton is 3-5 and plays at Salina South at 7:30 p.m. Friday. South is 6-2 after a 64-45 win over Hutchinson. South beat Newton 70-52 earlier this season.

“They took us to the cleaners last time,” Preston said. “Our guys have a lot to prove. They deserved to win that game, but we have a lot of motivation to play better. … It’s a tough place to play. It’s kind of a weird gym. We never seem to shoot well there.”

GODDARD (1-7) — LeFevre 2 (1) 3-5 0, 10; Lubbers 0 0-0 0, 0; Carr 1 0-4 4, 2; Lickly 1 0-0 1, 2; Mitchell 6 5-6 3, 17; Stuever 0 0-0 0, 0; Moses 1 (1) 1-3 2, 6; Wiley 0 1-2 1, 1; Palmer 0 0-0 1, 0; Crawford 2 (2) 5-8 4, 15; Wickliffe 2 1-2 4, 5; TOTALS 15 (4) 16-30 21, 58.

NEWTON (3-5) — Ruth 0 2-2 4, 2; Brackeen 2 (3) 6-10 2, 19; Petz 0 (2) 0-0 0, 6; Krogmeier 4 (2) 2-4 4, 16; Sauceda 2 (2) 2-2 2, 12; Nocenti 0 0-0 0, 0; Ray 0 2-2 1, 2; Carr 0 1-2 0, 1; Slechta 0 0-0 0, 0; Mick 0 (1) 0-0 0, 3; Saucedo 0 (1) 1-2 3, 4; Dorrel 1 0-0 1, 2; Mills 5 0-2 4, 10; Edwards 0 (1) 0-0 2, 3; Garcia 0 0-0 0, 0; TOTALS 14 (12) 16-26 23, 80.

Goddard;16;20;10;12;—58

Newton;29;18;22;11;—80

Technical foul — Gdd.: coach 3:14-3q.