The regular season has officially ended for Region 2-AAAAA baseball. Newton High School joins Rockdale, Lakeside and Tucker as the four teams from the region to clinch playoff spots, and in the last week of the regular season, they battled it out for their final positions.
There's a storm coming. Well, actually the storm is already here and it's been here for a while. Like a host of other football fans, you have probably slept on Jeremiah Holloman, rising senior wide receiver at Newton High School.
Newton High School was the better team for 30 minutes, but 30 minutes of near-perfect basketball wasn't enough in a 32-minute game Saturday. The length and athleticism of the Westlake High basketball team took over in the final two minutes and the Lions beat Newton 64-59.
The key to Newton's success in the 2015-2016 boys' basketball season has been its three talented backcourt mates, Jaquan Simms, JD Notae and Ashton Hagans. The trio provides Newton with a stability on both sides of the ball unlike any other in the state.
Newton outscored Grayson 23-9 in the third quarter, and its big three, of JD Notae, Ashton Hagans and Jaquan Simms scored a combined 54 points total to beat the other Rams 71-52 and avance to the final four of the Georgia High School Association basketball tournament Thursday.
The Newton Rams were close to blowing a double-digit lead against Peachtree Ridge on Saturday evening, but instead of allowing a Lions' comeback victory, they held on to win 63-61 and advance to the Georgia High School Association basketball elite eight for the second-straight year.
Down four entering the fourth quarter against a tough No. 4 seed in Douglas County and University of North Carolina commit Brandon Robinson, a fiery speech from Coach Rick Rasmussen at the end of the third lit a fire under the Rams and they went on to win 71-65, advancing to play Peachtree Ridge on Saturday 6 p.m.
Good teams usually find a way to win games, even when their shot isn't falling. That's what the Lady Rams were able to do against Langston Hughes on Wednesday evening in a low-scoring 35-28 Newton win to advance to play West Forsyth in the Sweet 16 on the road, Friday.
After letting Rockdale come back from an 11-point deficit with less than three minutes to play and beat Newton at home on senior night, the Rams reedemed themselves in a 17-point victory (59-42) over nearby county rival Rockdale.
After going into the fourth quarter up by eight points, Lovejoy battled back to give the Lady Rams a late scare, but Newton took its final lead in the closing seconds to advance to the region championship game with the 65-62 win.
Three Newton Rams made the All-Region 2-AAAAAA basketball team and Rockdale's Jalen Jordan beat out Tucker's Kenton Eskridge and Newton's JD Notae to take home Region 2-AAAAAA Player of the Year honors. The 2-AAAAAA coaches ranked the players in order of the first and second All-Region teams and they are listed below along with the honorable mentions.