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PREP BASKETBALL: Newton girls get back to winning ways with rout of Shiloh
Jada Franklin
Newton's Jada Franklin coasts toward the basket for a score. She led the Lady Rams with 13 points in Tuesday's win over Shiloh. -photo by Anthony Banks

SNELLEVILLE, Ga. — The Newton Lady Rams (5-9, 2-2) got back to .500 in Region 8-AAAAAAA by taking full control from the opening tip of their 49-30 victory over the Shiloh Lady Generals (3-10, 0-4) Tuesday night.

The Lady Rams’ formidable defense was the highlight of the team’s performance and helped Newton win its second straight game after snapping a four-game skid. 

The Lady Rams held Shiloh to single digits in the first two quarters of the game by doing an outstanding job of affecting shots and making each possession uncomfortable. Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson said she was pleased with the defensive effort from her team and saw their performance as a huge difference in the game

“We did a good job of coming out with intensity in the first quarter, and we were able to get up early, and we played great team basketball today,” Johnson said. “When your best offense is defense, that’s always a key and we’re working on executing and converting.”

There were stars all over the court for the Lady Rams, however, the play of senior Rachel Hilliard was notable on both ends of the court and made things tough for the Lady Generals all night long.

Rachel Hilliard
Newton's Rachel Hilliard tries to back down a Shiloh defender during the Lady Rams' 49-30 victory over the Generals. Hilliard finished with 12 points Tuesday night. -photo by Anthony Banks

Offensively, Hilliard had a solid night as one of two Lady Rams to reach double-digits with 12 points. It seemed as if every time she got the ball in the paint, you could count on two points going on the board. 

Her activity on the boards and ability to get rebounds stood above the competition. Hilliard got particularly aggressive on the offensive glass, grabbing rebounds that kept her team in possession of the ball and providing ample second-chance scoring opportunities. 

“(Hilliard) did great,” Johnson said. “We tell her whenever there is a mismatch, take advantage of it, and even if they have a big girl, our money is on you. She’s definitely a valuable asset on offense, and we’re going to feed her until she’s full.”

Jada Franklin also had a big night for the Lady Rams as the team’s leading scorer with 13 points. Franklin’s work at the free throw line was outstanding, and she made the most of her time on the line finishing 9 of 10. 

Executing the game plan was at the top of coach Johnson’s list Tuesday night, but although her team pulled off the victory, she knows there are still plenty of areas for improvement.

“Any game where we control the boards is good for us so, that’s always a focus,” said Johnson. “We always talk about defense, free throws, and rebounds so those are always our three keys and as long as we keep those in focus we’ll be in every game.”

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Newton will look to keep their winning ways going as they head to Archer (11-7, 3-1).