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Boys basketball: Newark downs Burlington Central at Plano

Newark's Grant Riehle-Moeller elevates against BurlingtCentral Saturday play-round game Plano Christmas Classic. 
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

Newark's Grant Riehle-Moeller elevates against Burlington Central Saturday in a play-in round game of the Plano Christmas Classic. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2013 10:05PM

The opening five minutes couldn’t have gone much worse for 14th-seeded Newark in its Plano Christmas Classic opener against Burlington Central. The rest of the game — a 61-49 victory — couldn’t have gone much better.

“The first two minutes we looked like we were back in seventh grade,” Norsemen coach Rick Tollefson said after his team turned the ball over on its first four possessions.

They trailed 6-0, 9-2 and 14-4 before getting their legs under them.

“I was ready to go Christmas shopping,” continued Tollefson. “But we did a nice job of collecting ourselves.”

Did they ever, reeling off 13 straight points and taking a 17-14 lead when senior guard Grant Riehle-Moeller’s three-pointer beat the quarter buzzer.

Central coach Brett Porto had his team play a box-and-one, shadowing Newark’s leading scorer, 6-foot-4 senior Brett Anderson.

“Anderson scores about 22 a game for them and you’ve gotta take something away,” said Porto, whose club’s three-game winning streak was snapped, dropping them to 3-8. “Unfortunately, some of their role guys showed up tonight. I wish we could have contested some shots a little bit more. I thought we had some lapses, defensively, with our rotations.”

Anderson, who plays any position on the floor from post to point, finished with just 13 points, but three of his teammates picked up the slack.

Newark had 7, 6 and 6 turnovers in each of the first three quarters and finished with 22 for the game, but the Norsemen hit 6 of 12 from beyond the arc and shot 52 percent (20-38) from the field.

Riehle-Moeller led the way with 17 points, freshman center Jack Clausel added 16 and guard Joseph Hughes matched Anderson’s 13.

The Norsemen had 15 assists on their 20 field goals. and claimed a 32-17 advantage on the boards with Anderson picking off 11 and Clausel eight.

Central, which got 13 points from senior Moter Deng and 10 from forward Ryan Ritchie, in his fifth game back from a torn thumb ligament, made just 5 of 22 shots from beyond the arc against the Newark zone trap.

“We’re getting back to where we were at the Sycamore tournament,” said Tollefson, whose club is now 7-4. “Grant (Riehle-Moeller) missed time with a concussion and Joe (Hughes) was in his second game back after missing three games with a broken foot.”

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