RI­VALS

The Covington News - - Sports -

said we needed to bounce back,” Ras­mussen said. “I think we did a good job of bounc­ing back.”

Af­ter an Al­covy bucket gave the lead back to the Tigers, Henry hit back-to-back buck­ets to give the Rams the lead back. It’s a lead they would not sur­ren­der.

Jor­dan Butts did what he could for Al­covy, scor­ing 16 points, but the Tigers again had prob­lems down the stretch.

“It was re­ally a game of who was go­ing to im­pose their will on the other and tempo was a big dif­fer­ence,” Ras­mussen said. “We forced sev­eral passes in the first half that we didn’t need to and we had more turnovers than we are ac­cus­tomed to. We let them run and get cheap stuff off of that, but once we set­tled down, we did a bet­ter job of slow­ing them up as we saw in the last part of the fourth quar­ter.”

Af­ter nearly let­ting a 16-point lead slip away against North Clay­ton ear­lier in the week, the Tigers again turned the ball over sev­eral times over the clos­ing min­utes of the game.

On the flip side, the Rams made shots when they needed to. Hawkins scored six of points down the stretch.

“I got tired sit­ting on the bench I think,” Ras­mussen said sar­cas­ti­cally. “I think they called some ticky tack fouls and he did a good job of show­ing he was tired of sit­ting on the bench. I thought the kids played re­ally well the last four or five min­utes. We shut them down de­fen­sively and hit some big shots.”

Hawkins wasn’t the only one strad­dled with foul trou­ble. Far­ley sat for much of the sec­ond quar­ter, forc­ing Ras­mussen to go to his bench more than he’s used to.

“I thought our role play­ers stepped up and did a good job,” he said. They made some re­ally good things hap­pen. Demetrius [McCray] made a good pass un­der­neath to Der­rick [Henry] and Bran­don [Carl­ton] did well in the first half when Tee [Far­ley] was in foul trou­ble with two. We played ba­si­cally a quar­ter without Ja­mon [Hawkins] so I’m glad we had some guys step up and play well.”

In the girls game, the Lady Tigers also strug­gled down the stretch.

Al­covy led 26-25 at half­time and nei­ther team strayed too far from the other.

New­ton closed out the third quar­ter on an 8-0 run and ex­tended it to 11-0 in the open­ing minute of the fourth pe­riod.

“Turnovers hurt us,” Al­covy coach Ka­dida Holtz­claw said. “We talk about it time and time again. It’s one of our keys to winning and when you don’t take care of the ball, you don’t give your­self a chance to score.”

Early in the fi­nal pe­riod, Al­covy’s Tif­fany Moody com­pleted a 3-point play to get the Lady Tigers back within four. Mo­ments later, Nikki Moody hit a 3-pointer and the Lady Ti- gers looked poised to re­cap­ture the lead.

With New­ton lead­ing 45-44, the Lady Rams scored nine straight points to pull away and se­cure the win.

“It was def­i­nitely a good game for us,” New­ton coach Tif­fani John­son said. “I knew com­ing in it was go­ing to be a bat­tle. Any time you have the county ri­valry, the in­ten­sity is times 10. We had a good prac­tice yes­ter­day and we were able to carry it into to­day.”

Al­covy had its chances down the stretch; in­stead, New­ton’s Mar­tice Hy­man an­swered for the Lady Rams with five of her 13 points in the fi­nal two min­utes of the game.

New­comer Sade Weaver led all scores with 15 while the Moody sis­ters car­ried the load for Al­covy. Tif­fany Moody poured in 13 points fol­lowed by Nikki Moody with 12.

On fire:

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton's Ja­mon Hawkins drains a huge 3-pointer in the fourth quar­ter of the Rams' 56-45 win over Al­covy.

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