By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Raeshawn Howard and Brayden Steve combined to score 45 points as the Newark boys’ basketball team got a bounce-back effort in an 83-58 win over host Northeast High in non-league action, Tuesday night.
The duo supplied all the offense in a 12-0 run early in the second quarter.
“Raeshawn and Brayden have been playing together year-round for the last eight years,” Newark head coach Henry Kuperus said. “They know each other inside and out.”
Deadlocked in a 16-all tie, Howard converted an and-one to give Newark a lead it did not surrender. Two possessions later, the senior forward drew contact again underneath and finished.
Howard set up Steve with an inside-out pass for a wing 3-pointer. Steve gave the Reds their first double-digit lead of the night with a steal and layup.
Raeshawn Howard grabs his own miss and converts. pic.twitter.com/ydX11HU7V9— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) January 25, 2023
Howard followed with another bucket.
Nearly four minutes remained and Newark (10-3) led 28-16. This after the Reds fell to league rival Pal-Mac last Friday by the final score of 54-23.
“It was all about us after Friday getting back to caring about each other,” Kuperus said. “When things weren’t going our way, we hung our heads. We had bad body language. We didn’t pick each other up like we had in the past.
“I hate losing. For Pal-Mac to beat us like that, I hate it even more, but it’s almost good for our kids to experience that.”
And the offensive production against Pal-Mac was less than half the Reds season average of 58.1 points per game.
“I told them ‘we’re not invincible. You got to play hard. You got to play together. If you do those two things, the game is fun.’ We didn’t play hard, and we didn’t play together in that game. The scoreboard reflected that.”
On Tuesday night, the Reds finished with a combined 16 assists on 34 field goals.
“Offensively it felt good,” Kuperus said. “We were able to put some points up. We were able to create and find each other.”
At the center of Newark’s offense was Howard. When Newark dug an early 8-2 hole, the 6-foot-4 captain responded with a rebound and putback. He followed with a bucket underneath in traffic. He converted a pair of free throws and gave the Reds their first lead of the night with another basket in the lane.
“When we need a hard bucket, he’s going to go and get it,” Kuperus said. “He takes on the challenge. He’s going to get the best big man against him every time he steps on the court, maybe two. When he sees that they collapse on him, he looks to find his teammates. His unselfishness and the people that have been around him for such a long time have helped with that.”
Brayden Steve on the finishing end of the press break. Newark 52-36 pic.twitter.com/1m321IOlpp— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) January 25, 2023
Howard finished with 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Steve added 22 points, four assists and three steals. Kellen Foster added 15 points and three steals. Daveon Wright had six points and six assists. Carlos Bueso accounted for six rebounds, two assists and two points. Eric Finn (6), Nick Hayes (5), Damien Mattys (2) and Marwarn Osmen (2) rounded out the scoring for Newark.
Carlos Bueso makes the steal and feeds Kellen Foster for 2. pic.twitter.com/trV0jSkn1I— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) January 25, 2023
“We didn’t panic tonight,” Kuperus said. “They got up 8-2 at the beginning. There was no panic. We just played Newark basketball. Eventually if you play hard and you stick together, good things are going to happen when you got a little bit of talent out there.”
Chrishton Wester hits the baseline runner. pic.twitter.com/CDECnERWXE— Paul Gotham (@PickinSplinters) January 25, 2023
Northeast’s Christon Wester led all scorers with 25 points. Monty Velletri and Jaivein Fell added six apiece for the Panthers (5-8). Loren Thomas (5), Semaj Rhynes-Hall (4), Kanaz Linder (4), Nah’zhear Beales (3) and Glenn Wilson (1) also scored.