The Lady Rams opened up their new gym in a big way Tuesday night, defeating rival Alcovy 57-34 in their inaugural game at the new Newton High.
Newton outplayed Alcovy from the first whistle to the end, leading the Lady Tigers from the opening bucket to the last.
Senior Deandra Reed led the Lady Rams with 15 points, including nine points from behind the 3-point line, while Sonia Forney contributed 14 points in the win.
“The new gym, it’s our first region game and it’s our county rival – all of those things gave us good energy going into the game,” Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson said.
Alcovy didn’t have much of the experience the Lady Rams had, with only three seniors on its team. But, Alcovy was able to get some good production from a returner, Ayanna Wimbush, who finished with six points behind leading scorer Daja Barnes.
Alcovy coach David Baker saw some good signs from his girls in his first game as the Lady Tigers head coach.
“The girls came out and had spurts, but they need to continue to work hard,” Baker said. “It’s a long season; we’re going to be on the road a lot, so we need to just play through.”
Newton came out the gates hot, starting the game on 6-0 run. Offensively, Newton knocked down shots and got layups, extending its lead to 14-3 early in the game. The Lady Rams defense was also impressive, holding Alcovy to only six points in the quarter.
Alcovy’s offensive woke up in the second half, in part due to the foul trouble for the Lady Rams. The Lady Tigers were able to knock down their free throws, and also got into the open floor for some transition baskets. Alcovy was able to trim the lead to six late in the second quarter, outscoring Newton 14-13 in the period as the Lady Rams carried a 29-20 lead into halftime.
Newton came out in the second half and turned up its play to another level, especially on the defensive end.
Newton went on a 12-4 run in the third quarter, bringing its lead up to 17 and also putting the game away. The momentum carried on for the Lady Rams in the fourth quarter, as Newton closed out the 23-point win.
“With seven seniors and experience, as the year progresses we will get better,” Johnson said. “Towards the end of the season, I hope that’s when we’ll be playing our best basketball.”
The Lady Rams fell in their first contest of the 2013 Norcross Lady Blue Tip-Off Classic, dropping a 56-48 decision to defending state champion Norcross.
Newton ran out to a 16-point lead in the first quarter, but cold shooting in the second period and foul trouble kept the Lady Rams from their second win of the season.
"We played really well, but we got into some foul trouble and that hurt," Johnson said. "We played a really good first quarter, but we went cold in the second and that allowed them to get back in the contest."
The Lady Rams return to action in the Lady Blue Tip-Off Classic Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. against South Gwinnett. The Lady Comets are currently 1-0 after defeating Lithonia 73-22 in their season opener last Friday.