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Lady Rams travel to Tift
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The Newton girls’ basketball team has never reached the state’s elite eight, but the 2012-13 version is on the verge of doing just that.

The Lady Rams travel to Tift County Saturday to take on the Lady Blue Devils in the second round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.

Newton entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed after falling to Alcovy in the Region 2-AAAAAA championship, giving it the chance to host the first round matchup against Westlake Tuesday. Tift County won Region 1-AAAAAA, giving it home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, bringing the Lady Rams to South Georgia. The game will be played Saturday instead of today due to Tift County’s boys also being a No. 1 seed giving the school a playoff doubleheader.

“It’s going to be a big crowd with their boys being really good too, the crowd is going to be there,” Newton coach Tiffani Johnson said. “That’s what basketball is about. When you start practicing in October, these are the things you prepare for.”

Newton survived a 12-point deficit in its first-round win, including being down by eight points in the final two minutes, something Johnson said can benefit the Lady Rams going forward.

“Just having the confidence, no matter what — to not quit when there was 2 minutes left in the game,” Johnson said. “We could have hung our heads and thought the game was over, but we just fought through it.”