Lampe's career night lifts Newton boys to win over Clarke

Feb. 13—The Newton boys' basketball team was well aware of its opportunity on Friday night.

Class 3A Clarke came into the game with a 17-3 record and the Indians' best player, Jack Cooley, averages 24 points, 12 rebounds, 5.0 assists and nearly three steals per game this season.

The Cardinal coaching staff was hoping a win against the Indians would help their squad move up a seed line for the postseason, but Newton still got placed in the 4-5 matchup despite its 60-47 come-from-behind victory.

"They are in the top 15 of the rankings," Newton head boys basketball coach Jason Carter said. "But we know we play a lot tougher schedule than they do, and we are used to these physical games. That played to our advantage."

Clarke came out hot early. The Indians led 8-1 and went in front 16-6 following an 8-0 run that included a pair of drives from Cooley.

Nate Lampe

Cade Bauer buried a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to close the gap, and then Nate Lampe heated up from outside in the second.

Lampe's first 3 closed the margin to 18-14 and then back-to-back treys from the senior guard put Newton in front 23-22 with 1:16 left until halftime.

A Cooley jumper and a 3 from Jesus Vega Torres pushed the Indians back in front and Lampe made it a one-point game at the break following another triple.

Lampe hit four 3s in the quarter, but Clarke still led at halftime.

"We had to see the ball go through the net a few times," Carter said. "And Nate was absolutely huge in the second. He really carried us early.

"We didn't make very many shots. We played a little rushed out of the gate, but once we settled in offensively we were fine."

Caleb Mattes scored a handful of points early in the game but missed most of the first half with two fouls.

The Cardinals (10-10) opened the third with an 13-4 run that was capped by a trey from Mattes. Hunter Teague also scored consecutive buckets and Lampe added two more layups to put Newton in front 37-31.

The lead eventually grew to nine following a up-and-under layup from Caden Klein. Mattes' drive to the basket late in the quarter made the margin seven after three.

"We had to come out fast in the third," Lampe said. "We couldn't just go through the motions. We had to give it everything we had."

After Clarke opened the fourth with a hoop, Lampe scored inside and drained another 3 to extend the margin to 10 and the Cardinals eventually led by as many as 15.

Lampe finished with a career-high 24 points and he added three rebounds and three assists. He was 5-of-9 from 3.

"I think we got in our heads early. We had to get back to the fundamentals and playing as a team and playing less selfish," Lampe said of the early deficit. "You hit a few and see it go through the net a few times, it starts just coming. You just let it fly from there."

Caleb Mattes

Mattes scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and eight of those came in the fourth. He added two rebounds and four assists.

All six of Teague's points came in the third and he grabbed two boards. Klein registered four points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals, Christian Lawson grabbed 10 boards and Bauer chipped in three points, four rebounds and two assists.

Christian Ergenbright made a 3 in the first half that helped the Cardinals rally from their early deficit.

"I thought we were good offensively all night outside of a couple of minutes," Carter said. "(Ergenbright) played a really good stretch on defense and Cade grabbed a bunch of rebounds. The guys are starting to learn there are many ways to impact a game besides scoring."

The Cardinals shot 43.4 percent from the floor, made 9-of-26 from 3 and connected on only 5-of-13 from the free-throw line. They committed only five turnovers.

Cooley finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Cole White added 10 points and seven boards.

The Indians (17-4) shot 41.3 percent from the floor despite making only 1-of-12 from 3. They hit 8-of-12 from the foul line.

"We knew they'd run everything through Cooley. He's a good player," Carter said. "But once we started digging and stunting off other guys, it made it tougher. He still scored 26, but we knew the other guys weren't looking to do as much."

Notes: Clarke has four players who are averaging nine points or more. ... Newton and Clarke were placed into the same substate, but the Indians got the No. 3 seed despite the loss to the Cardinals, who will be the No. 4 seed and face Knoxville in the opening round. ... The Cardinals have non-conference wins against 17-4 Clarke, 13-7 Knoxville, 17-4 Nevada and 11-9 Bondurant-Farrar.