All three Newton County GHSA high schools took their basketball acts on the road at some point this weekend, and as of Friday night at press time, they all had experienced some form of success as both Newton and Eastside boys and girls came away with wins in region openers.
No. 2 Newton pulls away
The second ranked Newton Rams boys squad experienced a bit of a tussle early at Region 8-AAAAAAA foe South Gwinnett, but eventually would pull away for a 78-58 win.
J.D. Notae opened up the game with nine of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter, while benefiting from some early sharp shooting from Darvin Jones, as the Rams traded punches with South Gwinnett on the way to a 34-28 halftime advantage.
The transition game started to work a little more as Isaiah Miller, held scoreless in the first half, scored all 13 of his points in the third and fourth quarters. Sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans finished with 18 points, many of which came from the free throw line as he continuously penetrated the South Gwinnett defense.
Coach Rick Rasmussen also highlighted the play of 6-foot-5 center Josh Tukes. Tukes added seven points, seven rebounds and a plethora of blocked shots to the cause, as Newton pushed its record to 7-0 before its Saturday night meeting with No. 9 Duluth.
Rasmussen said he was proud of his team’s effort in a game that provided a stiff region test for his bunch.
“We expected South Gwinnett to be a good team and to push us, and they did,” he said. “We stayed patient and eventually wore them down. It was a great way to start the region with a road win by 20 points. We get everyone’s best shot, and our guys have to be ready for that every game.”
With Notae’s 20 points Friday night, he put himself within 12 of reaching the 1,000 points for his career. Check back with us on our website, www.covnews.com, for coverage and results of the Rams’ Saturday evening game at Duluth.
Lady Rams stay perfect, Both Eagles squads get wins
It was a good Friday night for both the No. 4 Newton Lady Rams and the Eastside Lady Eagles, as both squads opened up region play in the win column.
Newton notched a 57-53 win at region foe South Gwinnett, in a game where Lexii Chatman nailed five three-pointers to finish with 23 points in a game that was close throughout. It started with an 18-18 tie at the end of first quarter, but Newton gained a 33-29 advantage going into the locker rooms at halftime. The Rams were only up 42-40 at the end of the third quarter, and were able to stave off a late game charge from the Lady Comets.
Chatman got help from Janelle Cook who had nine by halftime and finished 15. Jurnee Smith chipped in 11 points.
Meanwhile, Eastside got its first win of the season and first region win in the same night while improving to 1-5 Friday night with a 40-35 victory at Druid Hills. Chasity Smith led the charge for the Lady Eagles with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Nia Davis chipped in with 12.
Coach Gladys King got a big boost from three of her freshmen, T’Naiah Douglas, Dasia Fau and Alysee Dobbs who combined for 11 points.
After that, the Eastside boys bounced back from its first loss of the season at the hands of Newton last Friday by scoring a 64-51 win over Druid Hills in overtime. Keiodre Perry led the way with 21 points and four rebounds, while Dez Dyer and Jerry Mays each added 12 points apiece. Dyer added eight rebounds to his point total, as the Eagles improved to 4-1 before both Eastside teams would host Woodward Academy on Saturday evening.
Again, make sure to check back on our website, www.covnews.com, for coverage from Saturday’s action, including the Alcovy boys and girls teams who travelled to Social Circle Saturday night.