The Rams' state playoff run stopped on a cold Thursday night at Wheeler High School, with a large number of Newton fans tucked inside Wheeler's gym hoping to see the Newton boys basketball team pull of yet another upset. Three days later and the buzz has died, but the players and head coach Rick Rasmussen will always know how it all came together.
Even with the winter weather we experienced this past week, spring sports are off and running in full affect. The Newton High School baseball team has already got into the middle of their non-region schedule. Due to several rain-outs, Newton had only played two games until Friday evening where they were looking to get a win over the MLK Lions. Going into the game 0-2, Newton needed this win to kick start the season, but couldn't get it done and fell 8-4 to the Lions.
Newton junior guard Jaquan Sims will play in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) North/South All-Star boys basketball game. Sims will replace an injured player, as he was named an alternate for the contest, when rosters were being picked. Players from all over Georgia will participate in the contest. There is a game for juniors and one for seniors. Rams' guard D.J. Hill was also named as an alternate, but it has not yet been announced if he'll play in the game.
The third time wasn't the charm for Newton (22-9, 5-5 Region 2-AAAAAA), a team that had been on a wild Cinderella run in the state playoffs with upsets over powerhouse Tift County and Dacula. The favorites to win it all in 6-AAAAAA, Wheeler (28-2) and No. 2 player in the nation Jaylen Brown, ended the Rams' season with a 72-54 win.
Man, what a run it was. Newton played the underdog three times in the state playoffs, first upsetting Tift County – originally a favorite to at least make the elite eight – then beating Dacula in the sweet sixteen. However, Newton couldn't best Wheeler in the elite eight and fell to the Wildcats 72-54.
Newton High School's elite eight matchup against Wheeler in the state basketball playoff tips off tonight at 7 p.m.
No. Way. There was no way Newton would go down and beat defending Region 2-AAAAAA state champion Tift County as a No. 4 seed, versus the second-ranked team in the state. Not in Tift. Not a team that was 26-1, undefeated in their region and hadn't lost a game since January 8.
With a 58-54 win over Dacula, Newton boys basketball will advance to the elite eight for the first time since 2011.
Newton won over Tift 52-49.
The Lady Rams of Newton have been in a bunch of close games all year. They beat Tucker by two in their first game of the season, they beat Alcovy on a putback buzzer beater, they survived to beat Eastside and Rockdale by one and they beat Heritage by three. This would leave you to believe that when Newton had the ball down one, with a little less than 30 seconds left that they'd pull out a victory and win the region championship.
In the first half, the young stars of the Lady Rams were flying high and running fast. Freshman guard Alexcia Chatman made sure her presences was known.
Being a football coach in today's world is a complicated and draining occupation that has it highs and lows. Your biggest duty is to teach and motivate your players to become better on the field, and turn that into winning football games. That itself is not a walk in the park with complexities and other outside distractions that can happen; it's very complicated to build a winning team.
Rivalry game after rivalry game, fans take to social media, the local barbershops and pretty much any place where you can strike up a normal conversation to discuss which school/team is the best. Between the two counties there are six high schools, all vying for bragging rights. We decided to end the talk and put it on paper (actually computer, because technology, but you get it). Every team has pretty much ended its regular season and region tournaments are set to begin next week. The following list has been compiled based on regular season wins, regions wins, wins against ...
With a 64-37 thrashing of Lovejoy, Newton High School basketball coach Rick Rasmussen earned the 200th win of his career. Rasmussen speaks on the accomplishment and what's ahead for him in this Q&A.
Coaching at any level of sports is a complicated task of its own, but helping teenage boys develop into mature young men on and off the basketball courts is another complex assignment.
Normally when a coach starts three or more freshman its by default and that team is probably in for a long season filled with a lot of mistakes. Newton's girls basketball team starts three freshmen, but is off to an 8-2 start this season and they'll only get better with time.
Newton faced its toughest competition of the season on Friday since beating Butler in an exhibition match before the regular season and it showed as Newton got blowed out 67-42 against Tucker.
Newton had put up a good fight. They were in it with Tucker the entire game, but the defending state champion Lady Tigers had taken a six point lead with just a couple of minutes remaining in the contest. To lose by a few points to a team that won a state championship last year would be an honorable moral victory. But the Lady Rams didn't want a moral victory. They wanted to make a statement.
More than just bragging rights are on the line for Friday night's Newton/Tucker matchup. Tucker, which was added to Region 2-AAAAAA this year, is pretty much a powerhouse in every high school sport and that doesn't change in basketball.
Facing a rival for the third straight game, Newton dominated once again, with the girls winning 54-52 and the boys winning 70-51.
The rivalry that exists between Eastside and Newton has been well documented. For any contest or sporting event that the two compete in, the ultimate goal is to beat the other one, the school across the county.
Salem's girls survived against a strong push from a promising Newton team with a bright future, but Newton's boys dealt the Seminoles their second loss of the season.
Newton, both the girls and the boys, got convincing victories over county rival Eastside. The girls started it off with a 76-51 victory and the boys followed it up by winning 57-43.
All good things must come to an end. Newton's outstanding playoff run ended on Friday after a devastating 43-29 loss to Etowah.
Before the season, Rams' head coach Terrance Banks talked a big game about his team. It had some wondering if he was just being arrogant or if there was actual truth to his words. The Rams just lost their last game of the season, going 2-1 in the playoffs, but it seems Banks was right about a lot.
This week is a special edition of our athletes of the week page. With Eastside and Alcovy basketball having away games, we decided that Newton's seniors would be the athletes of the week. All of Newton's seniors have made some type of impact on this season, but we can only highlight a few of them. Honorable mentions: Nuka Yobo and Steven Montac.
With five minutes and 31 seconds left Newton awaited a kickoff with the game tied at 29. It was everything the Rams wanted, until it wasn't.
All year long Newton football made its money on offense where Rams' head coach Terrance Banks had nine returning starters from last year's team. As the Black Knights know, the Rams live and die (mostly living) on the arms and legs of Romario Johnson. However, it's been the Rams' defense that has propelled the team to new heights in this year's playoffs.
They say pressure either makes pipes burst or it makes diamonds. Plenty of pressure was on Newton to follow up the win against Valdosta and solidify the Rams as a program to be reckoned with. The only pressure that showed against Central Gwinnett was the pressure from the Rams' defense.