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Newton brings down Eagles
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The Newton Rams shut down Eastside Saturday, handing its cross-town rivals its first loss of the season and proving they are one of the state's better defensive teams.

Newton completely slowed down the usually fast-shooting Eagles, topping the visitors 59-42 Saturday.

Eastside came in averaging 54 points per game against a team which allowed just 41. The ending result was Newton (7-2) holding the Eagles (6-1) to 18 points below their previous season low.

"I thought we played well defensively," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "We felt the game defensively was the key and we took away some things they wanted to do. I thought we did a great job of doing that."

Eastside, which had two players - Quindarrius Russell and Anthony Henderson - in the top of the state in scoring, didn't have one player reach double-figure scoring on Saturday.

Russell finished with nine, but was in foul trouble most of the game. Henderson tallied eight points, and Eastside point guard Treyvon Francis, who is a key to its perimeter offense, managed six.

Newton had four players in double figures, led by DJ Hill with 12 points. Rody Mitchell and Kishon Rogers added 11 each and Jalen Glover finished with 10 points.

Eastside was just 16-of-49 shooting, while Newton was 20 of 39. The Rams reached the free-throw line 25 times, making 15, while out-rebounding the Eagles 26-23, and forcing 17 turnovers.

"I thought our pressure was good," Rasmussen said. "We got after it. Our specialty is playing defense, we feel like defense wins championships. "

The Eagles opened up with a 9-7 lead, before Newton's defense proved too much. Newton finished the fourth quarter with four straight points and opened the second with eight straight for a 12-0 run stretching the two quarters, capped by Glover's free throws.

The Rams led 25-19 at halftime, and continued into the second. After outscoring Eastside 11-9 in the third quarter, Newton turned it on the fourth.

When the winning team would normally start holding on for the lead, late in the game, Newton was adding to its advantage.
Up 42-37, Newton ended the game on a 17-5 run, including the game's last 10 points.

"We had a lot of different people contributing and we had a lot of cheap baskets, and that was key to continue to keep scoring and really increase the lead," Rasmussen said. "When it was time to chip into it, we pulled away. We finished the game strongly. We were going away increasing the lead at the end, instead of just holding on."

Newton will travel to Jenkins Saturday looking for a third-straight win, while Eastside will look to get back in the ‘W' column in the Rutland High Tournament at Macon starting Thursday.

In the girls game, Newton used a big fourth quarter to edge Eastside 65-58 Saturday.

Leading by just one, 42-41, after three quarters of play, the Lady Rams outscored Eastside 23-17 in the final period.

The Lady Eagles tied it at 54-54 on Jazzmine Cook's free throws. But Newton quickly pulled away. The Lady Rams scored eight straight points for a 62-54 lead and Eastside wasn't able to catch up.

It was the third straight loss for the Lady Eagles, and Newton's third win in four games. Newton was led by Sonia Forney with 15 points and Cynteria Langhorne and Precious Price with 13 each.

Cook led the Lady Eagles with 16.