Jaguars spoil New­ton Se­nior Night with two wins

The Covington News - - Sports -

first quar­ter af­ter back-to­back buck­ets by Stephen­son’s Kevin Dukes, Charles Ed­wards re­sponded with a pair of bas­kets to give New­ton the edge.

The Rams would re­tain the ad­van­tage, 12-10, en­ter­ing the sec­ond pe­riod.

Af­ter trad­ing bas­kets to open the sec­ond, Adrien Cole­man drilled a 3-pointer to give the Jags a 19-16 lead. But Omar Craw­ley coun­tered with a deep ball of his own — three of his over­all seven points — ty­ing the game yet again.

How­ever, it would be the clos­est New­ton could get, as Stephen­son went on a 10-0 run be­hind the hot shoot­ing of Cole­man and Dukes. Com­bined they scored 18 points in the quar­ter, shoot­ing 6-of-8 from the field, in­clud­ing 4-of4 from down­town.

Cole­man fin­ished with a game-high 25 points and six re­bounds, mak­ing up for his six-point per­for­mance the first time against New­ton ear­lier this sea­son. Dukes ended with 18 points, in­clud­ing 4of-8 from long dis­tance.

“(Stephen­son) is a very good bas­ket­ball team,” praised Ras­mussen. “They’ve got a lot of tal­ent, and they shot the ball ex­tremely well.”

Trail­ing 32-24 at half­time, things only got worse for the Rams, as they scored just three points in the third quar­ter on 1-of-10 shoot­ing. Stephen­son took ad­van­tage, adding 16 points to take a 4827 lead into the fourth frame.

A missed dunk by a high­fly­ing Mon­trell Grimes seemed to only ig­nite the Jags, as they im­me­di­ately pushed the ball up­court for a wideopen Dukes 3-pointer, mak­ing it 41-26 with 2:16 re­main­ing un­til the fourth quar­ter.

Frus­trated af­ter a dis­mal

“Y ou can’t play with peo­ple (who) are longer and just as ath­letic and quicker if you’re sloppy, and we just didn’t re­ally have an iden­tity tonight. Ba­si­cally, we have to for­get about it.”

per­for­mance in the third, New­ton scored 25 points in the fourth, mak­ing it some­what of a game de­spite ul­ti­mately fall­ing short.

Stephen­son’s Kerry Hart­ley fin­ished with eight points, while William Tole­free had five, in­clud­ing a game-high eight re­bounds.

Ja­mon Hawkins led the Rams with 12 points, in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers. Tevin Bradley added 11 points. Ed­wards had nine points and seven re­bounds.

“Ba­si­cally, we have to for­get about it,” said Ras­mussen re­gard­ing the loss. “What we have to learn is that it didn’t mat­ter, be­cause we play Redan on Tues­day (in the re­gion tour­na­ment) and that one does. If you’re good enough you go on and win that game, and if you’re not you need to get out of the way and go home, so some­thing good is go­ing to hap­pen no mat­ter what.”

In the girls game, the Lady Rams (7-17, 3-11) would never have the lead once Stephen­son’s Jylisa Wil­liams con­nected with the open­ing bas­ket.

The Lady Jags were 7-of-21 from the field dur­ing the first quar­ter, tripling the amount of shots New­ton could get off.

In fact, Stephen­son fin­ished 24-of-72 over­all from the field (33 per­cent). In com­par­i­son, New­ton was just 7-of-50 (14 per­cent).

Down 17-6 af­ter the first frame, the Lady Rams found them­selves in the mid­dle of

— Rick Ras­mussen Boys Bas­ket­ball Coach, New­ton High School

a night­mar­ish sec­ond quar­ter thanks to half-court press­ing. New­ton shot 1-of-15 from the floor, scor­ing just two points.

A poor of­fen­sive dis­play by Stephen­son (3-of-22 shoot­ing) kept it 29-8 at half­time.

“You’ve got to learn how to step up, re­gard­less of who your op­po­nent is,” said John­son, “and we didn’t do that tonight.”

New­ton’s Ashleigh Smith opened the third pe­riod with a bucket; how­ever, the Lady Jags came right back with a Shyanne Halfkenny bas­ket.

As the game con­tin­ued, Stephen­son just kept get­ting stronger, lead­ing 49-14 af­ter three quar­ters. They forced an­other 14 turnovers dur­ing the sec­ond half, keep­ing the Lady Rams off bal­ance and caus­ing low-per­cent­age shots.

Over­all, 12 dif­fer­ent play­ers scored for Stephen­son.

Yasheeka Jones paced the Lady Jags with 12 points. Wil­liams added 11, while Halfkenny had eight. Prit­tany White and Hiy­daayah Wil­liams each scored seven points apiece.

Shay Marks led New­ton with eight points, in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers and four blocks. Qais­erah Shar­iff, Loren Wilkins and Smith each added five points.

“I had a good time with them,” said John­son of her se­nior class. “Even though we had our ups and downs this sea­son, we al­ways had a good time. I’ve seen them grow up, so it will be hard to see them go.”

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