Newton hoopsters swept by Stephenson on Senior Night
COVINGTON — Simply put, the Stephenson High basketball squads were again just plain better than Newton on Friday evening.
Unable to avenge a previous sweep Jan. 11, Newton’s Senior Night was spoiled by two of the top teams in region to end the regular season.
For the boys, the Jaguars (17-6 overall, 11-3 Region 2-AAAAA), tied for first in region play, showed why they are among the elite with a 66-52 victory, equaling the same amount of points scored against the Rams when they first met.
“You can’t play with people (who) are longer and just as athletic and quicker if you’re sloppy,” said Newton boys coach Rick Rasmussen, “and we just didn’t really have an identity tonight.”
Earlier Friday, the fourthranked Lady Jaguars (21-3, 12-2) dominated in almost every aspect of the game, winning 65-23.
“They are a very quick and aggressive team,” said Newton girls coach Tiffani Johnson. “They’re taller, stronger and capitalized on all turnovers, so it was just tougher for us.”
In the boys game, amidst a bruised and sickly lineup — one without starting guard Sean Monk (shoulder) — the Rams (17-8, 8-6) could not get into any kind of rhythm, offensively or defensively.
Despite shooting 18-of-45 from the field (40 percent), Newton struggled from long distance (29 percent). Meanwhile, the Jags were 26-of-57 shooting (46 percent) and 8-of-19 (42 percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
Defensively, Stephenson outrebounded the Rams 34 to 18 and forced 18 turnovers, seven above Newton’s average per game.
“We needed to shoot a very good percentage and have 10 or less turnovers,” said Rasmussen. “Any miss fuels their break. We needed to shoot a high percentage and not turn it over to play with them.”
Tied at 6 with two minutes and 40 seconds to go in the
Traffic jam: Jamon Hawkins (20) pulls up for two of his team-high 12 points between defenders Friday night against Stephenson at Newton High School. The Rams lost to the Jaguars, 66-52.