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Newton's Rick Rasmussen, J.D. Notae sweep top postseason honors in region
Newton coach Rick Rasmussen and guard J.D. Notae grab top postseason honors in Region 8-AAAAAAA. - photo by File Photo | The Covington News

The Newton boys’ basketball team swept the top honors in the All-Region 8-AAAAAAA team which was released Monday.

Senior guard J.D. Notae was named the Region Player of the Year, while coach Rick Rasmussen was named Coach of the Year, as both have helped lead the No. 2 Rams to a 24-1 record and a 9-1 record in the mark and top seed in the region.

The Rams have also enjoyed a national ranking in several polls for most of the season as well. Notae, a shooting guard averaging 22 points per game, signed with Jacksonville (Florida)  just before the season began.

Notae is one-third of the Rams’ big three consisting also of senior guard Isaiah Miller and sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans. Both Miller and Hagans were also named to the all-region first team roster.

In addition, senior guard Darvin Jones was pegged as an honorable mention selection. Rasmussen said the postseason accolades are a reflection of how his team has positively responded to high expectations.

“We are proud of our entire team for all their work, and we know that the individual accolades would not be there if our players did not put the success of the entire team first,” Rasmussen said. “As I’ve said at one point earlier in the season, I think we have the best backcourt in Newton County history, and these guys certainly have lived up to the hype.”

Hagans, a 6-foot-4 point guard who’s being considered as one of the top players in the class of 2019, is averaging 14 points and 9.3 assists per game. He’s a four-star prospect, according to, and already has 15 scholarship offers from the likes of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, LSU, Auburn, Florida and Florida State.

Miller, a 6-foot-2 combo guard with extreme hops has also received a plethora of Division I attention, including offers from UNC-Greensboro and Miami-Ohio.

The Lady Rams were also represented well on the all-region girls’ team, with junior shooting guard Lexi Chatman making the first team after averaging 14.2 points and four rebounds per game during the regular season.

 Fellow junior, Jurnee Smith – who has come on strong down the stretch of the regular season – made the second team after scoring close to 10 points per contest. The lone Lady Rams senior to make the team is Janelle Cook who was name landed on the honorable mention list.

See the full 2016-17 All-Region 8-AAAAAAA team rosters here:









2016-2017 Girls’ Basketball All-Region 8-AAAAAAA Team


Player of the Year - Autumn Newby - Archer #24 6’3 Sr. PF 13p, 13r, 4a Vanderbilt University commit


       First Team

1. Lexi Chatman - Newton #3 5’5 Jr. SG 14.2p, 4r

2. Linsey Marchese - Archer #33 6’4 Sr. C 13p, 7r Indiana University commit

3. Asia McCoy - Archer #22 5’11 Jr. G 13p, 5 r Multiple DI offers

4. Alexis Lewis - South Gwinnett #14 C 10p, 12.6r

5. Sharai Lay - Shiloh #10 5’10 Sr. SG 16p, 4r


Second Team

6. Jazmine Robinson - Grayson #11 5’11 So. G/F

7. Jurnee Smith - Newton #23 5’6 Jr. PG 8.3p, 2.3a, 2r

8. Diamond Swift - Rockdale County #23 5’5 So. G

9. Xian Lopez - South Gwinnett #44 Jr. G 10.6p, 7r

10. Bianca Fizouaty - Grayson #3 5’8 Jr. G 


Honorable Mention

Tia Shorter - Archer #1 5’8 Sr. PG

Janelle Cook - Newton #22 Sr. G/F

Ronje Williams - Shiloh Jr.

Kourtlan Carter - Rockdale County #3 5’5 So. G

Alecia Torrence - Grayson #4 5’7 Sr. PF

Jasmine Williams - South Gwinnett #22 Jr. G




2016-2017 Boys’ Basketball All-Region 8-AAAAAAA Team


Coach of the Year - Rick Rasmussen - Newton 24-1 (9-1)


Player of the Year - J.D. Notae - Newton #1 6’2 Sr. SG 22p, 5.6r, 3a, 3s, 1b DI Jacksonville Univ. signee


       First Team

1. Ashton Hagans – Newton #0, 6’4 So. PG 14p, 9.3a, 3.4s, 4.6r

2. Isaiah Miller - Newton- #5 6’1 Sr. CG 20p, 6.4r, 3.5s, 2.5a

3. Travis Anderson - Grayson #0 6’0 Jr. G 21p, 4a, 3.5r 2.2s

4. T.J. Massenburg - Shiloh #21 6’9 Sr. C 14.3p, 10.1r

5. Greg James - Shiloh #15 6’4 Sr. SG 16.2p, 2.1a


Second Team

6. Kenyon Jackson - Grayson #24 6’6 So. PF 9.8p, 9,8r, 3.2b,

7. Brenden Tucker - Archer #1 6’2 So. G 14.8p, 3.4a, 2.5s

8. D’onte Torrence - South Gwinnett #20 6’2 Sr. G/F 14.9p, 5.5r

9. Brian Coffey – Shiloh #20 6’0 Sr. PG 12.1p, 3.1a

10. Sayvon Traylor - Rockdale County #5 6’4 Jr. SF 13.7p


Honorable Mention

Darvin Jones - Newton #15 6’0 Sr. CG

Shamarie McLeod - Shiloh #23 6’6 Jr. SF

Nick Edwards - Grayson #1 6’0 Jr. G

Cameron Gaines - Rockdale County #13 6’6 Sr. F

Brandon Johnson - Archer #12 6’4 Sr. F