For the Newton boys basketball team, there isn't one go-to guy this year - there's at least eight.
And it was clearly apparent Tuesday night after the Rams (1-0) began their season with a victory at home during a 65-44 rout over Jackson (0-1).
"It's always good to get that first win to give the guys a little confidence," remarked Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen after the game. "But we've just got to keep working to get better at the little things."
Sixteen different players scored in the game - eight from each team. But it was Tevin Bradley and Jamon Hawkins who did most of the damage for the Rams.
Bradley, who recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds, and Hawkins led the way with 15 points apiece. In addition, Hawkins was 5-of-8 from 3-point range to compliment 4 assists and 3 steals.
Bradley scored 9 of his points during the final quarter, going 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.
Overall, Newton shot 69 percent (11-of-16) from the free-throw line compared to Jackson's 64 percent (7-of-11).
Defensively, the Rams had 36 rebounds while forcing 20 turnovers. In comparison, Newton had nine turnovers.
The Rams only trailed once during the game, after Jackson's Rome Clark made his first and only basket in the opening quarter to lead 2-0.
But after that it was all Newton.
Hawkins responded by sinking a 3-pointer, later followed by another trey from Kentarius Farley (9 points, 3 assists).
The Rams led 12-9 after the first quarter of action.
Newton pulled ahead 27-16 entering halftime behind Sean Monk's two field goals in the second, despite Jackson's Chris Pope scoring 7 points - the only points the Red Devils scored during that quarter.
The Rams shot 50 percent in the second half. Overall, they shot 43 percent from the field and 44 percent from downtown.
Newton led 41-24 after three quarters, thanks in large part to two more 3's by Hawkins, including one at the one minute mark to close out the period.
Newton scored 24 points during the final quarter to overpower the weaker Jackson squad. In addition to Bradley's performance in the fourth, Omar Crawley added 4 points to help the Rams contain their 21-point victory.
"I thought we were a little sloppy because for a lot of guys it was their first varsity game," said Rasmussen, "but I felt like they calmed down a little bit. We played them well in spurts, and (it) was good that we were at home because we needed that, just to have a little extra cushion.
"I thought overall we played pretty well," added Rasmussen. "We just need to tighten up on a few things."
Despite battling illness, Monk added 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting and 4 assists.
Jackson's Stell Watts had a game-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Jamal Grier added 10 points, while teammate Nieron Ball had 4, all of which came in the fourth period.
"You like to get the first one for momentum," said Rasmussen, "especially since the second game is a rivalry on the road."
Newton will visit crosstown rival Eastside at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.