New­ton High elim­i­nated from Re­gion 2-AAAAA tour­na­ment

Sea­sons end for New­ton hoopsters

The Covington News - - Sports - By Bill Dolan

STONE MOUN­TAIN — Ev­ery team ex­pe­ri­ences its fair share of ups and downs.

Un­for­tu­nately for the New­ton High boys bas­ket­ball squad, its prob­lems— in­juries and ill- nesses — oc­curred at the most in­op­por­tune time: the re­gion tour­na­ment.

That be­ing said, the Rams (17-9 over­all, 8- 7 Re­gion 2AAAAA) watched their sea­son come to an end Tues­day against Redan, 3731.

“ It

was the right type of game for us, a slow-down game,” said New­ton coach Rick Ras­mussen. “I thought we bat­tled hard. We had our chances, but just didn’t cash in.”

Mean­while, the Lady Rams (6-17, 2-10) were quickly dis­posed of by Stephen­son, 5811.

For the boys, the flu bug has plagued the Rams for the past two weeks, even at­tack­ing the coach­ing staff. In addi-

tion, a shoul­der in­jury left se­nior Sean Monk with only one good arm at the most im­por­tant time of year.

The Rams started the game off very slug­gish, fall­ing be­hind 9-1 be­fore Ja­mon Hawkins drained a 3-pointer to get them go­ing. Mon­trell Grimes would add five of his eight points as New­ton closed the gap to end the first quar­ter, 13-11.

Hawkins, who led all scor­ers with 16 points, again got things rolling in the sec­ond. He con­nected with three from long dis­tance to help the Rams build a four-point lead. How­ever, Redan would bounce back and re­gain a 22-21 lead en­ter­ing half­time.

The Raiders opened the third quar­ter with a new game plan, de­cid­ing not to al­low Hawkins ac­cess to the ball. Their plan worked, as they dou­ble and triple-teamed him through­out the en­tire sec­ond half, lim­it­ing him to just two field goals.

As for the rest of the Rams, no one else was able to step up. Amaz­ingly, the men in stripes would whis­tle Redan for two per­sonal fouls in the sec­ond half and only seven over­all.

Mean­while, New­ton was called for 17 fouls de­spite sit­ting in a zone the en­tire game. The dis­par­ity al­lowed Redan to shoot 19 free throws as op­posed to six, and none by Hawkins, de­spite the mug­ging he en­dured all night long.

The Rams still man­aged to stay close, trail­ing 30-27 as the fi­nal quar­ter be­gan. With a slim edge and five min­utes left, Redan spread the floor and went into a stall. New­ton then came out and pres­sured, forc­ing sev­eral turnovers.

But af­ter fail­ing to con­vert, they were forced to foul, end- ing the game.

Over­all, the Rams did a good job of tak­ing care of the ball, turn­ing it over just 11 times.

“We ba­si­cally han­dled their pres­sure pretty well,” said Ras­mussen, “and we did a good job on the boards con­sid­er­ing their height ad­van­tage.”

Led by Grimes’ seven re­bounds and Charles Ed­wards’ five off the bench, the Rams lost the re­bound bat­tle, 21-19.

Redan was led by Kenny Hall and Yan­nick Crow­der, who net­ted 13 points and 11 re­spec­tively.

“I hate for it to end this way be­cause this has been a great group of kids all sea­son long,” said Ras­mussen. “Their at­ti­tudes have been ex­cel­lent and they de­served a bet­ter fin­ish than this. It is too bad that the in­juries and ill­ness came at a crit­i­cal time in our sched­ule. There is just no room for er­ror in our re­gion.

“Our se­niors have been great,” added Ras­mussen. “We wish them the best and we will re­ally miss them.”

For the girls, the top-ranked Lady Jags opened on a 16-1 run dur­ing the first quar­ter.

They si­lenced any type of scor­ing by the Lady Rams, lim­it­ing them to just one field goal in the en­tire game.

New­ton re­sponded with just five points in the sec­ond quar­ter, trail­ing 36-6 at half­time.


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