LUFKIN — Kevin Shorter and the Newton Eagles made sure the Elkhart Elks' return to the postseason was a short one.

Shorter scored a game-high 26 points and the Eagles surged past Elkhart, 70-51, Monday night at Shands Gymnasium on the campus of Angelina College in a Class 2A Region III bi-district playoff.

With the win, Newton secured an area-round matchup with second-ranked White Oak.
Shorter's 26 led all scorers, while the Eagles got 14 points and seven boards from Roney Elam and 13 points and five rebounds from Troy Peagues.

Elkhart's Jacob Cheatham had 24 to lead the Elks, who were making their first postseason trip in eight years. Cole Bridges and Luke Hollingsworth each finished with nine. Hollingsworth added a team-high seven rebounds.

The game wasn't a runaway in the beginning with Elkhart hanging around for much of the first half. But with just less than two minutes left in the second quarter, Shorter and company changed all of that.

The Eagles led 28-24 when they went on a 7-0 run, anchored in the middle by a three-point play at the rim by Shorter, that extended the lead to 35-24. By the time Hollingsworth hit a free throw to end the run, it was too late.

Newton never let Elkhart get closer than eight points from that point on, and slowly extended its lead throughout.