If cheering was the contest that counted then Heritage was easily the victor, but it didn't. Neither did the many entertaining dance-offs between the fans of the two schools, but what did count was the Ws for both the girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams.
The Lady Rams struck first, winning 75-41 behind a superb defensive effort that saw the team forcing many Patriot turnovers and capitalizing off of them.
The Lady Rams had an exceptional first period as they led 18-2 at the buzzer. In the second, the Lady Patriots fought back and finished the second quarter down 33-20. From then on Newton didn't look back and the Lady Rams ran off to victory, sitting their starters for much of the fourth quarter.
Alexia Chatman, Traleea Jones and Keyana Henderson were all huge in the win for the Lady Rams.
The boys' game amped up the crowd from start to finish, however, the game wasn't as good as advertised although you couldn't tell from the way both sides were cheering and talking trash.
There was a lot of back and forth, both in the game and in the crowd. There was sloppy play from both sides early in the first, likely because this is just the first game, but Newton led 15-8 at the end of the first.
The Rams defense was too much for Heritage pretty much all night. After leading 27-16 at halftime, a strong third quarter push from the Patriots had them trailing 33-31 at the end of third after Charles Moore drained a three from just beyond halfcourt to beat the buzzer.
In the fourth, the closes the Patriots would pull was 44-39 with 2:39 left. Newton put its foot on the gas and finished the game on a 7-2 run to win 51-41.
Jaquan Simms and Darion Hill finished with 14 apiece for Newton. Makyle Wilkerson was the only Patriot in double figures with 10 points.