New­ton sweeps

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - MATT SMITH msmith@cov­news.com

New­ton girls’ and boys’ basketball teams de­feat Rock­dale at home Wed­nes­day.

It took more than two quar­ters of play, but when the New­ton Lady Rams var­sity basketball team fi­nally woke up Wed­nes­day night, it woke up en­er­gized, outscor­ing Rock­dale County by 15 in the se­cond half, edg­ing the Lady Bull­dogs 56-45 at home in Re­gion 2-AAAAAA ac­tion.

Cyn­te­ria Langhorne led New­ton with 16 points, in­clud­ing 10 in the third quar­ter, while Sonia For­ney added 15 in the win.

The Lady Rams started a dif­fer­ent lineup af­ter their loss to Salem last Satur­day, but af­ter the first 16 min­utes of play, the ros­ter switch found its groove.

Rock­dale County led 2824 at the half, but New­ton limited the Lady Bull­dogs to 17 points in the se­cond half on its way to its fifth re­gion vic­tory of the sea­son.

“The third quar­ter gave us the con­fi­dence we needed to fin­ish the game,” New­ton coach Tif­fani John­son said. “We started out slow and strug­gled in the first half, but we had a good locker room talk and we came out and played as a team af­ter the first half.”

Down by four af­ter the first half, New­ton turned up the de­fen­sive pres­sure, forc­ing five Rock­dale turnovers in the pe­riod.

Langhorne scored New­ton’s first eight points of the quar­ter on a pair of layups and a short jumper, giv­ing New­ton its first lead of the game with 5:16 left in the quar­ter.

Langhorne’s of­fen­sive out­burst was part of a 15-4 run for the Lady Rams dur­ing the quar­ter that ended with New­ton car­ry­ing a 41-37 ad­van­tage into the fi­nal pe­riod of play.

“Cyn­te­ria Langhorne did an amaz­ing job on the boards,” John­son said. “She took to­tal com­mand

dur­ing the third quar­ter and she was a ma­jor rea­son why we were able to come back and main­tain our lead.”

New­ton pushed its lead to dou­ble dig­its with six min­utes to go on a De­an­dra Reed layup. Reed scored seven points in the fi­nal pe­riod of play af­ter sit­ting out the first half, con­nect­ing on a 3-pointer with 3:27 left in the game to ex­tend New­ton’s lead to 51-38.

New­ton and Rock­dale traded bas­kets to close the con­test, with New­ton clinch­ing the con­test with late bas­kets from Reed and Mercedes Booker, as Rock­dale was un­able to mount a come­back ef­fort, turn­ing the ball over 13 times in the fi­nal eight min­utes of ac­tion.

“I thought we got out hus­tled,” Rock­dale coach Gla­dys King said. “I thought we had more un­forced er­rors and we can’t com­mit those against New­ton. We didn’t block out, we gave up too many se­cond-chance shots, and we had too many men­tal er­rors tonight. Our hus­tle hurt us tonight, pe­riod.”

Rock­dale jumped out to a 12-6 lead to start the con­test be­hind six first-quar­ter points from Bri­anna Pat­ton. Rock­dale went 6-of-10 from the foul-line dur­ing the quar­ter, as New­ton turned the ball over nine times while con­nect­ing on two field goals in the open­ing quar­ter.

Syd­ney Fields helped the Lady Bull­dogs main­tain their slim lead over New­ton in the se­cond, scor­ing a quar­ter-high eight points, but New­ton trimmed the lead to four head­ing into the break be­fore claim­ing the lead in the third quar­ter.

Pat­ton fin­ished as the Lady Bull­dogs’ lead­ing scorer with 16 points, while Fields fin­ished with eight points and six re­bounds.

Price joined Langhorne in dou­ble fig­ures with 10 points for New­ton, while Langhorne fin­ished with a team-high eight re­bounds.

John­son said that Price and Reed not start­ing was a mes­sage she hoped her play­ers took to heart.

“It was a wakeup call,” John­son said. “I want five peo­ple on the floor who are ready to go from the start of the game.”

New­ton re­turns to ac­tion Satur­day at home against ri­val East­side, while the Lady Bull­dogs take the court Fri­day night on the road against Al­covy.

An­thony Banks/The Covington News

The New­ton girls var­sity basketball team cap­tured its fifth re­gion vic­tory of the sea­son Wed­nes­day night, de­feat­ing ri­val Rock­dale County 56-45.

An­thony Banks/The Covington News

Sonia For­ney drives through the lane against the Lady Bull­dogs for a layup. For­ney fin­ished with six points in the win.

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