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Salem at Newton
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Jamon Hawkins scored a team-high 22 points to help the Rams rally back from a four-point halftime deficit against Salem, 61-50, on Saturday evening at Newton High School.

Meanwhile, the Lady Rams fells to Salem, 67-51.

For the boys, the Rams (4-1 overall, 1-1 Region 2-AAAAA) began the first quarter against the Seminoles (3-4, 1-2) with a slow start.

"We were taking good shots," said Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen, "but we just couldn't get any of them to fall for us."

On the other side of the court, Salem had its offense working by way of center Zach Roddenbery, who accounted for 10 of the Seminoles' first half points.

Salem, who had zero first quarter turnovers, began to get sloppy late in the second, allowing Newton to capitalize and begin to surmount its comeback.

Hawkins was able to come up with a steal and a buzzer-beating layup to cut the Seminoles lead to four entering halftime.

After both teams struggled to find the bottom of the basket in the third quarter, the Rams found a spark in Hawkins, who began a 15-1 scoring drive. Hawkins led the rally with 11 points, including two steals and three big three-pointers.

"I didn't want to be selfish," stated Hawkins, "but I felt that I had the hot hand. I was open so I took the shot."

The Rams were thus able to regain momentum and control of the game. Shooting 71 percent from the free-throw line (25-of-35) certainly helped pave the way to garner the victory.

"I knew (that) after we got control of the momentum, enough little things would happen in our favor to even out the score for us," said Rasmussen.

For the girls, the Lady Seminoles (4-3, 1-2) were able to jump out to a comfortable 22-4 first quarter lead, forcing Newton to commit nine turnovers.

"We came out a little too excited in the first quarter, but we were able to settle down as the game progressed," said Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson. "We are just now beginning to see that intensity is needed for success, and that we have to carry that intensity from the first quarter all the way through until the fourth."

The Lady Rams (1-4, 0-2) were able to put a substantial second quarter drive together, led by Chaconna Marks.

Marks, who had nine second quarter points, brought the team within seven before halftime. But Newton - who forced 24 turnovers - was unable to stop Salem's sensational forward Courtney Hart.

Hart had 16 first half points, which proved to be too much for the Lady Rams.

Early in the fourth quarter, Newton was able to inch back to within 10; however, the Lady Rams would never get any closer.

Salem used its run-and-gun offense to continue to force turnovers and score quick, easy layups.

"We are a young, quick, athletic team," said Salem head coach Bill Roberts. "If you try to run with us, you're going to be in trouble."