The men’s basketball team had its season opener against Tabor College on Tuesday, preceded by a short ceremony honoring United States veterans.
The house was packed with a sea of navy blue and red as fans cheered on the Jets to defeat the Blue Jays 97-60.
A couple of fouls for Newman came early in the game from senior Bobby Wesley and junior Marquis Cuyler, but that didn’t stop the Jets from attacking on offense.
Senior Darrell Traylor helped the Jets add points to the board after being fouled and making both free throws.
After receiving a pass from junior Frankie Drayton, junior Josh Pleasant added two more points for the Jets.
“I feel like we did a good job overall,” sophomore Ryan McCarthy said. “We came out and didn’t let the defense dictate how we play.”
Blocks from juniors Pleasant and Ryan Mesh helped the Jets get back on offense, and by the 7-minute mark, the Jets led 20-11.
Three-pointers from McCarthy and junior Trae Beck helped lead the Jets at halftime with a score of 35-25.
“Coming into the game our focus was to play our team’s style of aggressive basketball,” McCarthy said. “We wanted to push the ball and put a lot of pressure on the defense, while harassing them on the defensive end.”
In the second half, the Jets stayed focused, dominating on both offense and defense.
Wesley hit a three-pointer and Traylor hit a two that helped keep the Jets in the lead.
Two technical fouls for the Blue Jays led to four free throws for the Jets. McCarthy stepped up to the line and made all four shots.
Junior Richard Waldron assisted senior Shamar Acuay in the 15th minute to add two more points for the Jets, and shortly after that Acuay made both free throws after being fouled at minute 12:52.
With less than ten minutes of play time left, Traylor assisted Cuyler, who dunked the ball for the Jets.
In the 8th minute, Beck made both a three-pointer and one of his two rewarded free throws.
“We played great and together,” Traylor said. “There are a few areas that we can get better on, but we will keep working and get better from here.”
Junior Mike Falvo picked up two back-to-back three-pointers with less than two minutes of play time, and sophomore Trent Garman also had two three-pointers and an assist to freshman Easton Julian.
“The atmosphere was great,” Traylor said. “We always appreciate people coming out and supporting us.”
The Newman Jets will be back in action at 7 p.m. Nov. 14, when they will face Manhattan Christian at Fugate Gym.