Preview: Newton hoopsters welcome Stephenson tonight
And on Tuesday, Grimes and Demetrius McCray sat out with the flu, unable to contribute in the loss against Redan.
“It’s a big game for us,” said Rasmussen. “We’d love to do well, but we won’t have Sean, and we’ll have a hoppled Demetrius and Montrell. It’s going to be a real challenge.”
Should the Rams (17-7 overall, 8-5 Region 2-AAAAA) win, they must be able to stop college prospect Adrian Coleman. On Jan. 11, Coleman dropped 18 points during a 6649 win over Newton.
“We can’t let them run because they’re real long and athletic,” said Rasmussen. “We’ll need to take care of the ball and be patient and shoot good shots. We can’t force bad shots because they’ll be out on a run. They’re playing extremely well right now.”
Stephenson’s William Tolefree and Rashad Carter reached doubles figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
“We’re hoping Omar (Crawley) will do well off the bench,” said Rasmussen of the senior, who replaces Monk tonight in the starting lineup.
Newton should get some home cooking this time around, seeing that Stephenson (16-6, 10-3) went to the free-throw line 21 times compared to just four during their previous matchup.
Monk led the Rams with 18 points. His absence tonight will most certainly play a factor in the outcome. Tevin Bradley and Montrell Grimes each scored 10 points apiece, while Jamon Hawkins chipped in with eight.
More than likely, the Rams will face Redan next week in the game to go to state regardless of what happens tonight. Newton is a virtual lock for fourth in region action.
“This week the biggest thing is to get better,” said Rasmussen.
Signing Day: Jordan Ritchey signs a full scholarship to play football at the University of West Georgia on Wednesday afternoon at Eastside High. Pictured, left to right: Eastside coach Rick Hurst, parents Paige and Don Ritchey and Jordan.