NEWTON, NJ—After winning the State Championship title last year, the Newton High School boys basketball team fans are wondering, what is in store for this year for the team.

In the first week of 2018, Newton played against two teams; Hackettstown and Wallkill Valley. Newton fell short against Hackettstown 62-55, but were able to dominate over Wallkill, 76-54.

Just as in the State Championship game, Jake Tarabokija led the Braves in scoring, although this time, his 26 points added together with Luke Young’s eight, Luismy Arias’ six, Jaiden Elliot’s four, Troy Babcock, Jacob Heller, and Alex Rivas’ three points, and Thomas Salomon’s two points, was not enough to win over Hackettstown.

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Newton was able to offensively make 15 2-pointers, five 3-pointers, and 10 of their foul shots against Hackettstown defense.

Two days later, after playing away at Hackettstown, Newton hosted Wallkill Valley and won on their own court.

Once again Tarabokija led the Braves in scoring, contributing 17 points, along with Heller who had 14, Elliot with 13, Salomon and Arias with nine each, Babcock with five, Rivas with three, and Zack Finkelstein, Justin Mayhood, and Jimmy McKeown each with two points.

Offensively, Newton made 17 2-pointers, 10 3-pointers, and 12 of their foul shots, while defensively they were able to get three blocks by Tarabokija, 12 steals total, and 25 rebounds.

While the Newton High School boys basketball team is not undefeated this year, they have moved their overall record to 8-2 and their conference-division record to 2-1.