Team play­ers

New­ton wins sea­son opener over Jack­son, 65-44

The Covington News - - Sports - By Ja­son Mur­dock

For the New­ton boys bas­ket­ball team, there isn’t one go-to guy this year — there’s at least eight.

And it was clearly ap­par­ent Tues­day night af­ter the Rams (1-0) be­gan their sea­son with a vic­tory at home dur­ing a 6544 rout over Jack­son (0-1). “It’s al­ways good to get that first win to give the guys a lit­tle con­fi­dence,” re­marked New­ton head coach Rick Ras­mussen af­ter the game. “But we’ve just got to keep work­ing to get bet­ter at the lit­tle things.”

Six­teen dif­fer­ent play­ers scored in the game — eight from each team. But it was Tevin Bradley and Ja­mon Hawkins who did most of the dam­age for the Rams.

Bradley, who recorded a dou­ble-dou­ble with 10 re­bounds, and Hawkins led the way with 15 points apiece. In ad­di­tion, Hawkins was 5-of-8 from 3-point range to com­pli­ment 4 as­sists and 3 steals.

Bradley scored 9 of his points dur­ing the fi­nal quar-

ter, go­ing 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 at the char­ity stripe.

Over­all, New­ton shot 69 per­cent (11-of-16) from the free-throw line com­pared to Jack­son’s 64 per­cent (7-of11).

De­fen­sively, the Rams had 36 re­bounds while forc­ing 20 turnovers. In com­par­i­son, New­ton had nine turnovers.

The Rams only trailed once dur­ing the game, af­ter Jack­son’s Rome Clark made his first and only bas­ket in the open­ing quar­ter to lead 2-0.

But af­ter that it was all New­ton.

Hawkins re­sponded by sink­ing a 3-pointer, later fol­lowed by an­other trey from Ken­tar­ius Far­ley (9 points, 3 as­sists).

The Rams led 12-9 af­ter the first quar­ter of ac­tion.

New­ton pulled ahead 27-16 en­ter­ing half­time be­hind Sean Monk’s two field goals in the sec­ond, de­spite Jack­son’s Chris Pope scor­ing 7 points — the only points the Red Devils scored dur­ing that quar­ter.

The Rams shot 50 per­cent in the sec­ond half. Over­all, they shot 43 per­cent from the field and 44 per­cent from down­town.

New­ton led 41-24 af­ter three quar­ters, thanks in large part to two more 3’s by Hawkins, in­clud­ing one at the one minute mark to close out the pe­riod.

New­ton scored 24 points dur­ing the fi­nal quar­ter to over­power the weaker Jack­son squad. In ad­di­tion to Bradley’s per­for­mance in the fourth, Omar Craw­ley added 4 points to help the Rams con­tain their 21-point vic­tory.

“I thought we were a lit­tle sloppy be­cause for a lot of guys it was their first var­sity game,” said Ras­mussen, “but I felt like they calmed down a lit­tle bit. We played them well in spurts, and (it) was good that we were at home be­cause we needed that, just to have a lit­tle ex­tra cush­ion.

“I thought over­all we played pretty well,” added Ras­mussen. “We just need to tighten up on a few things.”

De­spite bat­tling ill­ness, Monk added 10 points on 4of-16 shoot­ing and 4 as­sists.

Jack­son’s Stell Watts had a game-high 16 points, in­clud­ing four 3-point­ers. Ja­mal Grier added 10 points, while team­mate Nieron Ball had 4, all of which came in the fourth pe­riod.

“You like to get the first one for mo­men­tum,” said Ras­mussen, “es­pe­cially since the sec­ond game is a ri­valry on the road.”

New­ton will visit crosstown ri­val East­side at 4:30 p.m. on Satur­day.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Spi­der-Man: New­ton’s Tevin Bradley, cen­ter, climbs the lad­der over three Jack­son de­fend­ers Tues­day night for two of his 15 points. The Rams de­feated the Red Devils 65-44 to win their first game of the year.

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