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Newton's Croone shines in All-star game
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Stephen Croone has been one of the best players on his team all year long.

So it's only fitting that on a team made of up the best players, the Newton senior was once again the best.

Croone shined during the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star game at Armstrong Atlantic Saturday, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, dishing out five assists and tallying to steals and two rebounds for the South team.

"Stephen played great in the game," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "He was really fun to watch. You could really see his quickness and athleticism in the open floor."

With 12 players on each team, Croone's time was limited, but he made the most of it in his team's 126-96 win in the 40-minute game.

"He didn't have to shoot that much because he had tons of bigs to get it to," Rasmussen said. "He really facilitated well, you could see his athleticism and quickness.

"The high school coach that coached the All-star team was very impressed with him."

Croone had impressed coaches throughout his career at Newton, especially his senior season, when he averaged 20 points, 4.5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game.

The numbers earned him a spot on the All-region team and an All-state selection by the GACA and Sports Writer's Association, which appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in Sunday's paper.

His play also earned him a scholarship to Division I Furman, of the Southern Conference, which he will sign on April 11 at Newton.

"We know he will do well," Rasmussen said. "We're very proud of all his accomplishments and the way he has represented Newton High School. We fully expect him to do great at Furman."

Rasmussen said it was obvious in the All-star game that Croone was a Division I caliber player.

"He was very smooth," Rasmussen said. "He hit a 3, and made a lot of great passes."

Croone excelled on both the offensive and defensive end all year for Newton, using both skill and hard work.

The point guard finished his final year with 25 charges, averaging one per game.

Croone was the second Newton player in as many years to not only sign with a Division I university, but also to play in the GACA All-star game.

Derek Henry also made the team in both his junior and senior years, making it three straight years there was a Ram in the game.