MASON CITY – Newman Catholic boys basketball coach Jerry Gatton had some concerns about the Knights’ Friday contest against Central Springs.
Despite a five-game winning streak, Newman was heading into winter break and coming off of a couple of lighter practices.
Gatton need not have worried.
Newman scored 31 consecutive points – including a 21-0 run in the second quarter – to down the Panthers 81-26 in Top of Iowa Conference East Division play.
Despite the 51 first half points and Newman’s highest point total of the year, the game came down to outstanding defense for Newman, especially in the first half.
Newman held Central springs to just 3-of-17 shooting from the floor over the first 16 minutes and forced 20 turnovers in that same span.
From the midway point of the first quarter, the Knights outscored the Panthers 38-2 in the remainder of the half.
The lopsided margin gave Gatton the opportunity to get substantial court time for many of his bench players, and the result was that all 15 of the Knights who suited up for the game got in the scoring column.
Only one Knight, Joe Scholl, reached double figures on the evening as he poured in 10 ponits.
Josh Fitzgerald added Jacob Schutt added nine points apiece and Ian Holmgaard had eight.
Treyjen Wilson paced Central Springs with seven points while Trevor Hall had six.
Newman (6-3) returns to action on Jan. 5 when the Knights travel to St. Ansgar for an important conference game against the Saints.
Central Springs (0-10) travels to Nashua-Plainfield on Jan. 4.