Newman edges Curtis on Kyle Lewis’ putback

NEW ORLEANS — With all attention on Duke Douglas late Tuesday night, the John Curtis Patriots forgot about his Newman teammate.

That allowed Kyle Lewis to follow Douglas’ missed layup with a putback with 3.4 seconds left, a play on which he was untouched on his way to the rim.

After Newman survived an errant inbound pass, the Greenies had earned a 46-44 nondistrict boys basketball win in front of several hundred fans at Newman’s Fitzgerald/Shertich Arena.

“It’s like basic instinct to go to the boards, especially when the clock is running down. That’s what I was thinking the whole time,” said Lewis, who finished with 10 points, none more important than the last field goal.

It was almost like they drew it up.

Douglas led Newman with a game-high 21 points, a mixture of jump shots and offensive putbacks, which kept Newman close for much of the three quarters it trailed Curtis, the defending Class 2A basketball champions.

Still, in the final seconds, Douglas needed Lewis to do his part in the scoring.

“He’s always going hard, always finishing,” Douglas said of Lewis. “He’s a great player. He gets to the hole, regardless of whether they box him out.”

On this night, John Curtis (13-4) made it easy for him.

“We just didn’t screen out like we were supposed to,” John Curtis coach Michael Krajcer said. “That’s a correctable situation.”

The Patriots were in control of most of the game thanks to the perimeter scoring of guard Richard Durant. He finished with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Isaac Banks added 10. Malichi Dupre, who struggled with foul trouble, was held to two points.

Newman improved to 15-2, earning its fifth consecutive win.

Newman led 12-5 late in the first quarter, a product of Douglas’ early jump shots. But with 2:38 left in the second quarter, Durant stepped back to convert a 3-pointer. He followed it with a second with 1:29 left, giving the Patriots a 21-16 halftime lead.

Newman rallied in the third quarter behind Lewis and Douglas. The tandem totaled 10 of Newman’s 15 points in the quarter.

Momentum shifted to Newman in the fourth quarter. Kendall Lewis scored on a layup but missed the ensuing free throw. However, Douglas scored on a putback, giving Newman a 39-36 lead.

His layup with 3:39 left extended the lead to five.

Durant’s 3-pointer with 2:03 left gave Curtis a chance to rally, closing the deficit to 42-41.

But Douglas had other plans. Kyle Lewis, too.