The Newton Rams headed to Lithonia on Friday night looking for balance and their first region win.
For the boys, it was mission accomplished, as Newton (3-1 overall, 1-1 Region 2-AAAAA) thrashed the home team Bulldogs (0-5, 0-2), 82-52. It was their most prolific and balanced offensive output of the young season, netting 19, 20, 19 and 24 points in each of the respective quarters.
Meanwhile, the Lady Rams (1-3, 0-2) dropped a disappointing 41-30 decision to the Lady Bulldogs (4-2, 1-1).
Returning to the boys, each member of the team contributed, including eight players recording at least six points. In fact, the starters scored a combined 49 points, while the bench added 33.
Jamon Hawkins scored a game-high 16 points, including six rebounds and five assists.
"It was a good win," smiled Newton boys head coach Rick Rasmussen after the victory. "The starters played real well as did all of the reserves. It was nice to work on our zone offense; I think it works. We did a good job of sharing the ball, making the extra pass and then knocking down our shots."
Tee Farley got the Rams rolling in the first quarter, scoring all eight of his points to give his team a 19-13 lead.
Behind the shooting of Hawkins, the Rams extended the lead to 10 as the first half dwindled to a close. At the buzzer, Ruben Hatchett dropped in one of his two 3-pointers on the evening, and the Rams headed to the locker room up 39-26 at the half.
But the third quarter belonged to Sean Monk (five assists), as he tallied 10 of his 15 points to give the Rams a 58-37 lead entering the fourth.
Newton continued to pour it on in the final period by way of sophomore Jared Mann's seven points, which came off the bench and ultimately led to the 30-point win.
But it wasn't just the offense, as the Rams dominated the boards by out-rebounding Lithonia, 34-16. They allowed just two offensive rebounds to the Bulldogs while garnering 11 of their own.
Senior Montrell Grimes pulled down nine boards to lead the Rams, while center Tevin Bradley grabbed four to compliment his eight points.
Demetrius McCray came off the bench to pull down six rebounds in addition to his seven points scored.
"Montrell, Tevin and Demetrius did a good job defending inside and keeping them off the boards," praised Rasmussen. "Our kids are battling hard, taking charges and doing the little things that win ballgames."
Senior Omar Crawley dropped in eight points off the bench, shooting 3-of-5 from the field. Freshman Derrick Henry (three points), Charles Edwards (two points) and J.T. Turner (two assists) each contributed to the win, as well.
Overall, the Rams shot 52 percent from the field and 71 percent from the charity stripe.
"We did a good job of penetrating and not just settling for lazy jumpers," noted Rasmussen.
For the girls, the Lady Rams were led by senior Loren Wilkens.
After jumping to an 11-6 first quarter lead, Newton held the advantage through three quarters. But a fourth quarter meltdown saw the game fall into the loss column.
"This was a game we should have won," said Newton girls head coach Tiffani Johnson. "I thought we were the better team. We led for three quarters, but just couldn't bring it home in the end."
Newton will next visit Union Grove at 7 p.m. Friday.