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Community Champion: Burges boys basketball team off to hot start

People knew that the Burges boys basketball team would be good coming into the new season. The question was, “Just how good can they be?”

Star guard Deion Bauman graduated last season, but the Mustangs have picked up right where they left off and look like a contender to make it to the state tournament.

“I think we can go to state if we actually prepare like we’re supposed to and play as a team like we’ve been doing all year,” said senior guard Jawaun Newton, who has helped guide the Mustangs to a 13-1 record so far this season.

The Mustangs have been painstakingly close to state, or the final four, in recent years. Last year, they lost in the Elite 8 while in 2015-16 they came up just short in the Sweet 16.

That Sweet 16 loss two seasons ago came at the hands of Fort Worth Dunbar – a loss that Burges stars Tristen and Jawaun Newton did not forget.

The Newton brothers, both underclassmen in the Sweet 16 loss two seasons ago, got redemption against Dunbar this season. They combined for 81 points as Burges crushed Dunbar by 36, proving how far they’ve come in a relatively short amount of time.

While Tristen is still only a junior, Jawaun is playing his last season in a Burges uniform. And the Newton brothers, cousins of former UTEP running back turned Green Bay Packer Aaron Jones, are making the most of their final year together.

The Newtons have had several other breakout performances that caught the attention of scouts across the state.

In addition to combining for 81 points against Dunbar, the Newtons tallied 65 in a win against Americas and 69 in a victory over College Park.

That kind of scoring prowess resulted in a Texas Tech scout showing up at the last Burges game – a win Tuesday night at Canutillo.

But the Newton brothers, for all their success, are quick to credit their teammates for helping them grow over the past few seasons.

“My teammates really push me to play defense more than I have in recent years,” said Tristen Newton. “They push me to be able to handle the ball and become a better leader.”

The Mustangs are back in action Friday night when they host the Jefferson Silver Foxes at 6 p.m.

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