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PREP BASKETBALL: Newton boys rout North Oconee Tuesday night in season opener
Tyrease Brown continued his torrid shooting pace with a game-high 24 points against North Oconee Tuesday night. Twenty-one of Brown's points came in the first half. - photo by Gabriel Stovall

BOGART, Ga. — The Newton Rams boys basketball team showed, in its first regular season game, that its scoring potential and ability to dominate was no exhibition fluke. 

Newton went on the road and smacked North Oconee, 74-30 Tuesday night in the No. 7 Rams’ regular season opener. And once again, the Rams were led by upstart junior guard Tyrease Brown who had 24 points — this coming after his 45-point exposition in last Thursday’s scrimmage against ELCA. 

Junior Ashton Hagans had his usual strong, all-around game, pitching in 14 assists to go with his six points, six steals and five rebounds. Newton was also bolstered by the return of Dre Butler. 

The senior post player had 12 points and five rebounds. Butler missed most of the 2016-17 season with a knee injury. He recovered to have a strong senior on the football field, and is expected, along with 6-foot-6 junior Armani Harris, to bolster the Rams’ front court. 

“The combinations of Ashton and Tyrease, and the combination of Armani and Dre being back are really strong for us right now,” said Newton head coach, Rick Rasmussen. 

The Rams haven’t lost a season opener since before the 2005-06 season. They’re next game will be Saturday at the First Annual Newton-Rockdale Showcase, when they take on the Heritage-Conyers Patriots. Heritage edged Stephenson, 52-51 in its season opener Saturday. 

Other games scheduled for Saturday’s showcase are Alcovy vs. Salem, with girls action kicking off the event at noon and Eastside vs. Rockdale. The showcase will be held at Newton High’s gym, and tickets are $10 at the door.