Bright­est star

New­ton guard Stephen Croone shines as in GACA All-star game in Sa­van­nah

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO Sports Ed­i­tor

Stephen Croone has been one of the best play­ers on his team all year long.

So it’s only fit­ting that on a team made of up the best play­ers, the New­ton se­nior was once again the best.

Croone shined dur­ing the Ge­or­gia Ath­letic Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion Al­lS­tar game at Armstrong At­lantic Satur­day, scor­ing 12 points on 5-of-8 shoot­ing, dish­ing out five as­sists and tal­ly­ing to steals and two re­bounds for the South team.

“Stephen played great in the game,” New­ton coach Rick Ras­mussen said. “He was re­ally fun to watch. You could re­ally see his quick­ness and ath­leti­cism in the open floor.”

With 12 play­ers on each team, Croone’s

time was limited, but he made the most of it in his team’s 126-96 win in the 40-minute game.

“He didn’t have to shoot that much be­cause he had tons of bigs to get it to,” Ras­mussen said. “He re­ally fa­cil­i­tated well, you could see his ath­leti­cism and quick­ness.

“The high school coach that coached the Al­ls­tar team was very im­pressed with him.”

Croone had im­pressed coaches through­out his ca­reer at New­ton, es­pe­cially his se­nior sea­son, when he av­er­aged 20 points, 4.5 as­sists, 4 re­bounds and 2.6 steals per game.

The num­bers earned him a spot on the Al­lre­gion team and an Al­ls­tate se­lec­tion by the GACA and Sports Writer’s As­so­ci­a­tion, which ap­peared in the At­lanta Jour­nal Con­sti­tu­tion in Sun­day’s pa­per.

His play also earned him a schol­ar­ship to Di­vi­sion I Fur­man, of the South­ern Con­fer­ence, which he will sign on April 11 at New­ton.

“We know he will do well,” Ras­mussen said. “We’re very proud of all his ac­com­plish­ments and the way he has rep­re­sented New­ton High School. We fully ex­pect him to do great at Fur­man.”

Ras­mussen said it was ob­vi­ous in the Al­ls­tar game that Croone was a Di­vi­sion I cal­iber player.

“He was very smooth,” Ras­mussen said. “He hit a 3, and made a lot of great passes.”

Croone ex­celled on both the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive end all year for New­ton, us­ing both skill and hard work.

The point guard fin­ished his final year with 25 charges, av­er­ag­ing one per game.

Croone was the sec­ond New­ton player in as many years to not only sign with a Di­vi­sion I univer­sity, but also to play in the GACA Al­ls­tar game.

Derek Henry also made the team in both his ju­nior and se­nior years, mak­ing it three straight years there was a Ram in the game.

An­thony Banks/ The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton's Stephen Croone (11) jumps over an Al­covy's Devon Ed­wards dur­ing his se­nior year. The Rams' guard played in the GACA All-star game on Satur­day.

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