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Posted: March 20, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Newton tennis picks up region wins

Matt Smith/

Newton High School's Bri Weaver connects on a backhand. Weaver won in No. 1 doubles for the Lady Rams, helping Newton to a 5-0 win over Druid Hills.

The Newton boys and girls tennis program continued its early season run through Region 2-AAAAAA Tuesday afternoon, picking up their third region wins of the year against Druid Hills.

The Rams narrowly edged out the visiting Red Devils 3-2, pulling out the win in a comeback victory in No. 3 singles.
Unlike the boys program, the girls team barely broke a sweat, jumping out to a 5-0 win after beginning the match with a pair of forfeit victories.

“I felt that this win was a big confidence boost for both our boys and girls,” Newton coach Michael Bryan said. “Druid Hills beat us last year, so it was nice to repay the favor. I was especially proud of the way our boys played today. Both Craig (Thomas) and Tamar (Thomas) fought really hard to pull off some close matches, and the outcome could have really gone either way."

In the boys contest, Chase Gooding of Druid Hills picked up the Red Devils’ lone win in senior play, defeating Newton’s Tufail Khan 8-1 in No. 1 singles.

Newton fell behind 2-0 after the Red Devils’ Roster Lewis and Jake Braswell defeated the Rams’ Anthony Bradley and Demetrius Calhoun 8-4 in No. 1 doubles, but Newton rallied with three consecutive win.

Craig Thomas cut Druid Hills’ lead to 2-1 in No. 2 singles with a 9-8 (7-4) tiebreaker win over Druid Hills’ Arthur Foley and Chris Scott and Marcus Willis downed Kobie Jones and Kelvin Shine 8-0 in No. 2 doubles, evening the score.
With one match to go, Tamar Thomas picked up the match-deciding victory for the Rams, rallying back to tie the match at 5-5 before winning 8-6 in No. 3 singles.

The win moved the Rams to 4-4 overall and improved Newton’s league record to 3-1.

Lady Rams sweep
The Lady Rams tennis team picked up a pair of wins over Druid Hills before the first can of tennis balls was opened, winning by forfeit in No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.

Brishanti Weaver breezed through the Lady Red Devils’ Savannah Edmondson 8-2 before Irma Soriano completed the singles sweep with an 8-0 victory over Zanise Madison.

In doubles action, Ify Egbulem and Hannah Scott defeated Ayla McManus and Ivy Francis 8-0 for the 5-0 final.
The win pushed Newton to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in region play.

Lady Rams sweep
The Lady Rams tennis team picked up a pair of wins over Druid Hills before the first can of tennis balls was opened, winning by forfeit in No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.

Wednesday results
In tennis action on Wednesday, the Rams boys tennis team defeated Lovejoy 4-1 while the Lady Rams picked up a 5-0 sweep over the Lady Wildcats.

Both wins moved the Rams to 4-1 in region play.

In girls action, Weaver won in No. 1 singles 8-2, while Soriano also picked up an 8-2 decision in No. 2 singles. Ashley Jean-Baptiste rounded out the singles sweep with an 8-5 win in No. 3 singles.
Ja'lynn Cole and Brooke Menchio picked up a win in No. 1 doubles, 8-3, and Newton won by forfeit in No. 2 singles for the 5-0 win.

The Newton boy's lone loss came in No. 3 singles, bu Khan and Craig Thomas earned wins in No. 1 and No. 2 singles with 8-3 and 8-0 victories, respectively.

Bradley and Calhoun earned an 8-4 win in No. 1 doubles and Newton won by forfeit in No. 2 doubles for the 4-1 match win.

"I felt like we were a little sluggish to begin with in most of our matches (agains Lovejoy)," Bryan said. "Perhaps this was a letdown after the win against Druid Hills. We played really well in one and two singles on both boys and girls teams. Craig Thomas played  really efficiently out there, and Brishanti Weaver played a nice match, too.
"However, we have to get off to a stronger start at the doubles positions," he said. "We were down in both matches, and, against stronger competition, we could have really been in trouble."
Newton returns to the court Tuesday on the road against rival Alcovy.

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