Lady Rams' rally falls short

Shar­iff scores 10 in fourth, drops 20 in 56-50 loss

The Covington News - - Sports - Josh Briggs Sports Edi­tor

Newton's girls were un­able to com­plete the sweep over Rock­dale de­spite a fu­ri­ous fourth-quar­ter come­back. The Lady Rams outscored Rock­dale 22-14 in the fi­nal pe­riod but came up short in a 56-50 loss.

Down 14 en­ter­ing the fourth pe­riod, Newton stormed back to within four points thanks in part to Qais­erah Shar­iff who scored 10 of her 20 points in the quar­ter. Pre­cious Price capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer mid­way through the quar­ter and the Lady Rams trailed 44-40 in­side of three min­utes to go.

Rock­dale re­sponded to close out the quar­ter on a 126 run to dash the come­back at­tempt.

"If we could have played all four quar­ters like we did in the fourth quar­ter I def­i­nitely think the out­come would have been dif­fer­ent," Newton coach Tif­fani John­son said. "We were able to put some good runs to­gether and get back in the game but de­fen­sively we weren't able to get those stops we needed."

Por­tia McCray was one of three Lady Bull­dogs in dou­ble fig­ures. She led Rock­dale with 17 points while Bri­anna Lawrence added 15 points and Kree Clark fin­ished with 11.

"We can't take quar­ters off," John­son said. "We've skated by some teams but when you play a team like Rock­dale that has so many weapons, it's hard to win a game like that."

De­spite the loss, the Lady Rams (8-6) are 5-2 in their last seven games. Rock­dale (11-5) won for the sev­enth time in the past eight games.

Newton started slowly of­fen­sively in the first quar­ter but man­aged to pull to within 6 by the end of the pe­riod.

Af­ter each team scored 15 points the sec­ond quar­ter, Newton re­ally strug­gled in the third. Rock­dale pow­ered ahead in the third quar­ter af­ter hold­ing the Lady Rams to just four points.

But the Lady rams woke up in the fourth quar­ter. Shar-

iff turned sev­eral Rock­dale turnovers into layups and cut the lead down. Rock­dale mean­while was un­able to re­spond un­til the fi­nal three min­utes when the re­gained their com­po­sure and scored when they needed to down the stretch.

"We knew we could be in the game," John­son said. "We went the press to get some en­ergy and turnovers and it ended up work­ing for us. We just didn't get those de­fen­sive stops in the end and we missed some key re­bounds that al­lowed them to keep that lead."

Shar­iff kept up her in­spired play and nearly led the Lady Rams to their ninth win. But Newton's slow start and poor of­fen­sive show­ing in the third proved to be too much to over­come.

"Q is one of those (play­ers) who's go­ing to stay in un­til she can't breathe any­more," John­son said. "She al­ways goes hard. She just didn't have very much help to­day. If I could put Q's heart in ev­ery­one else, we might be 14-0 right now."

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

Plenty of ef­fort: Qais­erah Shar­iff scored 20 in Newton's 56-50 loss to Rock­dale Wed­nes­day.

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