New­ton hoopsters split at Salem on the hard­wood

New­ton boys edge Semi­noles; Lady Rams drop opener, 62-39

The Covington News - - Sports - By Bill Dolan

CONY­ERS — Look­ing more like the walk­ing wounded of a M*A*S*H unit in­stead of a bas­ket­ball team, the New­ton boys none­the­less held on for a hard fought 51-49 vic­tory over Salem on Satur­day night.

Mean­while, the Lady Rams were steam­rolled by the Lady Semi­noles, 62-39.

In the boys game, one of the wounded, Ja­mon Hawkins, threw up a run­ner from the lane that just crawled over the front rim for the win­ner with only 18 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Salem would get two more chances, but a big re­bound by Tevin Bradley and a key in­ter­cep­tion on the fi­nal play by Demetrius McCray se­cured the win.

No fewer than four Ram starters suf­fered some kind of in­jury.

“We over­came the ad­ver­sity of in­juries and did enough good things down the stretch to pull out the win,” said New­ton coach Rick Ras­mussen. “This is the tough­est part of our sched­ule, so it was good to get back on the win­ning track tonight. The guys came to­gether and bat­tled hard.”

The Rams (17-6 over­all, 84 Re­gion 2-AAAAA) jumped on top and led 10-7 af­ter the first pe­riod. They in­creased the lead to 23-18 at half­time only to see Salem (7-16, 1-7 Re­gion 8-AAAA South) come out strong in the third pe­riod, ty­ing the score at 38 head­ing into the fi­nal quar­ter.

The lead would change sev­eral times in the fourth frame, set­ting the stage for the fi­nal drama. Hawkins had 10 points on the night, none big­ger than the fi­nal two.

“I just wanted to make the shot,” noted Hawkins. “We re­ally needed a win af­ter los­ing our last two.”

Hawkins also had six as­sists, two steals and two blocked shots for the vic­tors.

Tee Far­ley led the Rams with 14 points, in­clud­ing four 3-point­ers. Tevin Bradley also reached dou­ble fig­ures with 12 points and six re­bounds.

Mon­trell Grimes just missed dou­ble fig­ures with nine, while Sean Monk tal­lied

six be­fore leav­ing with an in­jury.

Al­though McCray didn’t score any points, he did have the big­gest de­fen­sive play of the game. The foot­ball wide re­ceiver uti­lized his ex­cep­tional leap­ing abil­ity to go up and get the fi­nal pass.

“I just went up there and got it, just like foot­ball,” re­called McCray of the gamechang­ing play.

Chuck Ed­wards saw ex­tended play­ing time (four re­bounds) while bat­tling against Salem’s 6-foot-9 cen­ter Zach Rod­den­berry.

Rod­den­berry led all scor­ers with 21 points, and was 9-of10 from the free-throw line.

“Only three turnovers in the sec­ond half for us was prob­a­bly the dif­fer­ence in the game,” said Ras­mussen. “We will need to come up with that kind of ef­fort this next week.”

For the girls, the Lady Rams (7-16, 2-10) suf­fered from a dif­fer­ent kind of hurt, this by way of Salem’s Court­ney Hurt.

The op­pos­ing cen­ter pounded New­ton for a game­high 31 points, lead­ing the Lady Semi­noles (17-6, 7-1) to vic­tory.

“We weren’t ready to play tonight and had a dif­fi­cult time ex­e­cut­ing,” ad­mit­ted New­ton coach Tif­fani John­son. “We had some runs to get back in the game at times, but couldn’t keep it go­ing.”

Loren Wilkins led the Lady Rams with 14 points, backed by 12 from Shay Marks.

Re­becca Mitchell added 17 for the Lady Noles.

For New­ton, the reg­u­lar sea­son will come to an end Fri­day night at home against Stephen­son.

BLUE

RAS­MUSSEN

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