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Rockdale rolling into region play
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With region play just getting started, the Rockdale boys' basketball team carried momentum into its fourth 2-AAAAAA game Friday night.

The Bulldogs were 2-1 in region play, and had won four of its previous five before hosting Alcovy in a game that finished after press time.

Rockdale (8-7) is averaging 64.6 points per game after putting up 75 in a win over Heritage on Jan. 5, and 65 in a victory over Newton Tuesday.

The 65-50 defeat was the third straight loss for Newton, the first such streak since early in the 2011-12 season. During that three-game skid, all the losses came by two points - 79-77 loss triple overtime loss to Alcovy on Dec. 3, 56-54 to M.L. King on Dec. 6 and 48-46 overtime loss to Langston Hughes on Dec. 9.

Rockdale jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first five minutes and led by as many as 19 early in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs used a trapping defense to keep Newton's perimeter players off balance, and without a go-to-scorer the Rams couldn't find a rhythm.

Rockdale ended the first quarter ahead 19-10 after shooting 8 of 11 from the field, including two 3-pointers, while Newton was just 4-of-10 shooting in the first eight minutes.

Newton finished shooting 19 of 24 from the field, while the Bulldogs were 24 of 45 from the floor and 8 of 20 from behind the 3-point arch.

Conner Ferrell made all four of his 3-pointers en route to 21 points for the Bulldogs as he was left open on the wing after C.J. Wilson drove toward double teams.

Wilson finished with 12 points and Darryle Tucker had 10 for Rockdale, which won its second straight and hosts Alcovy Friday.

The two have been keys for Rockdale in 2012-13 with Wilson, a senior, leading the way with 16.2 points per game, 46 assists and 30 steals. Ferrell, a sophomore, is leading the team with 50 percent 3-point shooting, going 12 for 24.

After trailing 35-21 at halftime, Newton opened the third quarter with a 10-5 run to cut it to nine, 40-31 forcing a Rockdale timeout. Newton scored the next two baskets out of the timeout to make it 40-
34 but couldn't get any closer.

Rockdale went on a 10-3 run to put it out of reach behind four free throws from Wilson, who also had five assists. The Rockdale senior leads Region 2-AAAAAA with 16.2 points and 74-percent free-throw shooting.

The win moved Rockdale into the top four of Region 2-AAAAAA teams with a 2-1 league record, while Newton dropped to 1-3.

Rashard Cabane had 12 points and Taylor Hawkins and D.J. Hill added 10 each for the Rams.