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Local Sports

Norsemen dominate Panthers in LTC tilt

LELAND — After the dissolution of the Leland and Earlville co-operative entering the 2018-19 school year, one of the first casualties of the breakup was boys basketball.

The always tough and competitive hoop group from Newark took full advantage of the Leland Panthers' fledging state competing alone, as the Norsemen bombarded the hosts to the tune of an 85-26 final score during the early-season Little Ten Conference matchup Friday evening here at Leland High School.

The Norsemen led 24-6 after one quarter, 46-16 at halftime and 69-22 entering the final frame where a running clock ensued courtesy of the new IHSA mandate with a team ahead by 30 points or more at any time during the final eight minutes of play.

Newark (6-2, 2-0) placed five competitors in double-figure scoring, with junior Nate Christian leading the way with 17 points. Seniors Connor Swanson, Brett Myre, Corey Jacobson and Beau Brown finished with 14, 13, 11, and 10 points, respectively, with Brown adding a double-double with 10 rebounds as well. Senior Jacob Slivka and junior Alex Tollefson also chipped in with eight markers each as the Norsemen took control early and never looked back, shooting a healthy 35 of 75 (46 percent) from the field.

"Leland played very hard, and credit to them for competing even though they were a little outmatched tonight," said NHS veteran coach Rick Tollefson. "We think we've got a pretty good team this year, and I was impressed by how hard we worked, especially defensively where we forced a lot of turnovers."

Leland (1-6, 0-2) committed a whopping 33 miscues overall, but received an admirable effort from junior Nate Sachse, who put in a team-best nine points. Junior Jared Fries was next in line with five tallies, but the Panthers couldn't begin to match the firepower the Norsemen threw at them.

"Newark's got a great program with talented kids in the starting lineup and coming off the bench as well," said LHS coach Chris Abbott. "We're pretty young and inexperienced, and we're gaining experience in tough games like this. We'll keep trying to keep up and hope to eliminate the turnovers, and I know we'll continue to improve as the year rolls along."

Myre scored 13 points in the first half and Swanson 11 as the Norsemen opened up a 30-point lead at halftime. Christian added six in the third and Tollefson all eight of his in the fourth as Newark rolled on to the 49 point win.

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At Leland

Newark 85, Leland 26

(Key: FG FT-FTA TP)

NEWARK (85) — Slivka 4 0-0 8, Jacobson 5 0-0 11, Myre 5 1-3 13, Swanson 5 4-5 14, Chapman 1 0-0 2, Christian 8 0-0 17, Tollefson 3 0-0 8, Kunkel 0 0-0 0, Fernandez 1 0-0 2, Brown 4 1-1 10. Totals 35-75 6-9 85.

LELAND (26) — Wesson 0 0-0 0, Whittaker 2 0-2 4, Aviles 1 0-0 2, Fries 2 1-2 5, Sachse 3 2-3 9, Pfortmiller 1 0-0 2, Samsone 1 0-0 2, Creager 0 0-0 0, Silva 1 0-0 2. Totals 11-45 3-7 26.

Newark (6-2, 2-0) 24 22 23 16 — 85

Leland (1-6, 0-2) 6 10 6 4 — 26

3-point goals – Newark 7-24 (Myre 24, Tollefson 2, Jacobson, Christian, Brown); Leland 1-11 (Sachse). Rebounds – Newark 42 (Brown 10, Chapman 9); Leland 22 (Whittaker 6, Aviles 5). Turnovers – Newark 14; Leland 33. Total fouls (none fouled out) – Newark 9; Leland 13.

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