COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton Lady Rams opened up their region schedule with an impressive showing and were in complete control in their dominant 46-29 win over the South Gwinnett Lady Comets.
The Lady Rams held the lead in the majority of the game, and head coach Tiffani Johnson was happy to see here girls get going against the Lady Comets, but was most pleased with how they played in the late stages of the contest.
"Definitely much more pleased with our defensive effort in the third quarter, all five starters had two fouls to start the second half, so being able to still be intense and aggressive and play through that," Johnson said. "We just couldn't getting any momentum going in the first half, but once we got some, we were able to keep it up and finish the game out."
Despite this being a commanding win, the Lady Rams let a ton of opportunities slip through their grasp, especially at the free-throw line as they finished 11/33 at the charity stripe. Johnson knows they will not be able to do that in some of their upcoming matches.
"We were below 50%, so we left 20 points out there, so not getting the reward for the effort of going to the basket and getting fouled hurts," Johnson said. "I think if we would have seen the margin going up a little bit, that may have given us more energy early."
One of the brighter spots at the free-throw line was Tijunna Freeman, who went 7/12 and led the team in scoring with 17 points. Freeman has been a consistent force for the Lady Rams in the early stages this season and should continue to play a pivotal role for them.
With Freeman's great play and the rest of the excellent depth that makes up this team, this Lady Rams team should be a force for the remainder of the season. Freeman was not the only Lady Ram to reach double-digits as Ashleigh Norris finished with 11 points as well.
Johnson takes pride in the ability of her team to have a different leading scorer at any time but was also proud of the defensive efforts and the press that her squad successfully ran against the Lady Comets.
"I'm glad we had something to go to even when we were in foul trouble," Johnson said. "The press ended up working for us. It helped us slow them down and gave us the energy and juice that we needed to sprint ahead and finish the game."
The Lady Rams have a huge tilt coming up in their next contest as the Grayson Lady Rams will make their way to Newton high school. Johnson knows this will be a tough match, and they have to clean up the little things for this game.
"The little things that we were able to get through today, we can't do that against Grayson," Johnson said. "Going into practice, taking care of the little things, execution and making sure we don't give up anything if they get anything they're going to have to earn it."