NEWTON, NJ—The Newton High School boys basketball team is getting to work and looking forward to a successful season. 

“We are looking to improve on last years’ record,” head coach Dirk Kelly said. “The players worked hard during the summer and were successful. We are expecting success to carry over to the season.”

This is Kelly’s 18th season with the Newton boys team. Last season’s record was 9-15 and Newton’s overall record with Kelly as coach is 277-133.

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The team lost six key players to graduation including Alex Rivas, Jim McKeown, Justin Mayhood, Elijah Lee, Kevin Ayoso, and Darby Knox. But the team has four returning players.

Senior guard JD Heller, Junior forward Donovan Thomas and junior guards Brian McKeown and Aaron Fantasia will be returning this season.

There are also seven key newcomers according to Kelly. Jack Young, quarterback of the Newton football team switched back from wrestling to basketball this year and will be playing as a forward on the team.

Senior newcomers include Kellen Miller and Gabriel Tebangin as forwards and Angelico Villaruz as guard. Junior newcomers include forwards Dylan Bailey and Sebastian DeLeon, while Darrell Mims, sophomore guard and Young also join the team.

“We are very fast and have very hard workers,” said Kelly. “The players like each other and get along very well.”

The Newton High School boys basketball team will have their first official game of the season on Friday, December 20. The game will be on newton’s home court against Lenape Valley and tip-off will be at 7 p.m.