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.
Rick Rasmussen earned his 200th win as a head coach with a 64-37 dominant victory over Lovejoy tonight.
After another region win against the Rams on Friday, Tucker currently sits atop the region 2-AAAAAA standings, as Newton (16-5, 3-4 Region 2-AAAAAA) ranks fourth in the region behind Rockdale (15-6, 5-2 Region 2-AAAAAA) and Lovejoy (4-10, 3-3 Region 2-AAAAAA). However, this game was much different than the last, a 67-42 thrashing in early December, without center usual starting center Josh Tukes.
Tierra Hodges and Darvin Jones have been named, Alcovy's and Newton's athletes of the week respectively. For Eastside's athlete of the week, check online at covnews.com Tuesday.
Newton (12-4, 4-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) came into Friday's battle with Rockdale (6-8, 1-3 Region 2-AAAAAA) looking down at the Lady Bulldogs from high atop the Region 2-AAAAAA standings. Rockdale, despite it's sub-.500 region record, gave Newton everything it could handle. The Lady Rams answered with a resolve they've laid claim to all season.
A.J. Palomino (Newton), Nuka Yobo(Newton) and Joshua Smith (Heritage) were selected to participate in the Georgia/Florida All-star Classic. With Palomino, Smith and Yobo, Georgia beat Florida 26-14 in the classic
For the first time this season, Newton (13-3, 1-3 Region 2-AAAAAA) lost its second-straight game. The fact that this is the first time they've lost consecutive games all season is a remarkable feat, but is this a trend for the Rams or just a blip in the radar?
Nearby county rival Rockdale came to town on Friday night to face region foe Newton.
Newton basketball kept rolling over the break as the Rams went 3-0 in a holiday tournament at Walnut Grove winning the championship 39-36 over Walnut Grove. Rams' head coach Rick Rasmussen breaks down the tournament run in this exclusive question and answer.
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.