NEWTON, NJ—The Newton High School boys basketball team defeated Hawthorne by two points, 52-50, in the semifinal round of the 2017 NJSIAA North 1, Group 2 Tournament on Friday, when they played them in Hawthorne’s gym.

“It was a great game and atmosphere.  The players rose to the occasion,” said Head Coach for Newton, Dirk Kelly.

Jake Tarabokija was the lead scorer of the game, contributing 17 points with two rebounds and two assists.

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Jason Heter wasn’t far behind, scoring 10 points and leading in rebounds throughout the game against Hawthorne with 14 total.

Charlie Maker had nine points against Hawthorn with seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Luismy Arias also contributed nine points, with one rebound, one assist and three steals.

Overall defensively, the Newton Braves got 20 rebounds, 13 steals from Hawthorne and had two blocks.

Offensively, The Braves kept the scoring tight in the first half, taking halftime with a tied score. But the Braves came back and fought in the third quarter, scoring 23 points to Hawthorne’s nine.

Hawthorne tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter, managing to score a whopping 24 points, but the Braves hung on to the victory, adding another 12 points at the end to take the victory and move into the final round.

The final round of the tournament will be played at Newton’s home court on Tuesday, March 7, with a tip-off at 7 p.m. The third-seeded Braves will play fourth-seeded Westwood.

“We have an excellent shot to win the game tomorrow if we make our foul shots and don't turn the ball over”, said Kelly.