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Lady Rams cruise to 2-0 in region play
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Newton’s girls are off to their best start in six years after a 61-40 win over Langston Hughes Friday. Their win moved them to 2-0 in Region 2-AAAAA and 3-1, equaling their start to the 2006-07 – the season first under head coach Tiffani Johnson.

“It’s a good way to start region play,” Johnson said. “I think we did a good job playing team basketball. We looked like ourselves and I hope this is the beginning of where we need to be.”

Mikola Burks led all scorers with 25 thanks to five 3-pointers and a perfect 6-for-6 night from the free throw line. Burks had 21 against M.L. King Tuesday in Newton’s 16-point win and has eight threes in the past two games.

“She’s (Burks) doing a good job of letting the game come to her and not for things,” Johnson said. “As long as she does that, she can be effective. She did a great job of that tonight.”

Danyel Forney chipped in with eight and Emili Russ added seven.

Newton raced out to an 18-5 lead after one period and never looked back. Langston Hughes rallied a bit in the second quarter, scoring 12 points, but the Lady Rams bested them by dropping 15 and led 33-17 at the break.

Burks hit back-to-back threes in toward the end of the opening quarter to fuel Newton’s offense. Her first three made it a 15-5 game and the second pushed Newton’s lead to 13.

 Langston Hughes closed to within 12 in the third quarter thanks to a 4-0 run to open the second half. But Newton outscored the Lady Panthers 8-5 the rest of the quarter to lead 41-26 heading into the final period.

Newton led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter as the reserves finished the game. The lone blemish on an otherwise dominating performance was turnovers. Newton committed 23 turnovers but were still slightly better than Langston Hughes who turned it over 25 times.