Malibu Basketball Sprints Past Cate, 81-39

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Jordan Newt (No. 11) is averaging 22 points per game and leading the team in scoring.

In a first-quarter flurry of three-pointers, steals and layups, the Malibu boys basketball team sent a message to the rest of the Frontier League: beware. 

After a resounding 81-39 victory against the visiting Rams of Cate High School, the Sharks improved to 4-0 in league. 

“I want to have our best game every game,” Malibu coach Richard Harris said. “I am excited that we are doing well in league but we have to keep pressing forward. I’m still trying to push these guys. I’m proud of them and they are doing a great job.”

Malibu jumped out to an early 7-1 advantage after a Dane Marshall layup. The lead extended to 14-1 after a Jordan Newt fast-break layup and three-pointer from Cordell Newton. Moments later, Newt drilled a three from the right wing and the score was suddenly 20-1. 

For all intents and purposes, the game was over with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter. Malibu’s intensity and focus was very prevalent from the start in the Shark’s first game on campus since early December. 

“We’ve been focusing on playing really good defense and jumping on teams early so we can get ahead,” Newt said. 

After Newt knocked down a medium range jumper at the buzzer, the first quarter onslaught resulted in a 26-9 comfort zone for Malibu. 

Newton connected on another shot from downtown to start the second quarter and the deluge continued. Marshall made a fierce block, one of four on the night, resulting in a fast break leading to a Newt layup and foul. 

Newt converted the free throw to complete a three-point play and the Sharks’ lead swelled to 36-14 with 2:26 left in the first half. 

When halftime arrived, Malibu held a 44-18 lead with Newt having scored 11 points and Newton adding eight. 

The second half was more of the same as Newt nailed a three-pointer on the first possession of the third quarter. Malibu coasted the rest of the way leading 64-28 at the end of three periods en route to a 42-point victory. 

Newt scored a game-high 29 points. Newton was right behind him with 22 points and six assists. Marshall added 10 points and Michael Novak came off the bench to contribute 10 as well. 

Newt, a senior transfer from Westlake, and Newton, a junior transfer from Grant, have ignited a Sharks team that began 2-10 on the season. 

Malibu (6-10, 4-0) played a tough non-league schedule participating in tournaments that featured several Division-I schools including Crescenta Valley, Oxnard and Calabasas. 

Competing against better talent might have hindered the Shark’s overall record but has provided confidence heading into the Frontier League. Malibu has since defeated Fillmore (64- 60), Thacher (69-42), Foothill Tech (72-34) and Cate. 

“This is exactly why I wanted that schedule. Now we see teams who are not as athletic, not as big, not as fast and who don’t score as well,” Harris said. “There is no intimidation factor whatsoever. We played nothing but beasts to prepare us for games like these.” 

“I’m so excited. I love that our coach did that,” said Newt. “People look at our record and think that we are not good. I know we are good and the potential that we have. It’s totally prepared us for league and when we get to the playoffs we will have seen those types of teams.” 

Malibu will continue its quest for a league title with upcoming home games against Thacher on Jan. 28 and Foothill Tech on Jan. 30. 

“I’m really proud of the team and the coaches,” Newton said. “We are playing as a team and not individually. We trust in each other and it has helped us be 4-0.”