PREP BASKETBALL: Newton's Ashton Hagans gets Atlanta Tip-Off Club recognition
Newton's Ashton Hagans was the only Ram from either the boys or girls teams to be selected to the Atlanta Tip-Off Club's all-metro preseason basketball team. - photo by Anthony Banks

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Atlanta Tip-Off club has recognized the stellar play of junior point guard Ashton Hagans by naming him to its preseason all-metro team. 

Hagans, a 6-foot-4 standout, was listed along with 14 other basketball Atlanta area basketball standouts in an accolade that names the best among all metro area hoopers. The consensus five-star player, who’s also considered one of the top players in the nation, has lived up to the hype so far, averaging close to a triple-double for the young season, and achieving a triple-double stat line in his last four games. 

In Friday’s 86-64 Region 8-AAAAAAA opener win against South Gwinnett, Hagans had 23 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. He helped spark a late third quarter rally that turned a tight game into a blowout with both his penchant for timely scoring and his ability to get his teammates involved. 

Dre Butler’s 22 points and eight rebounds in that game, and Tyrease Brown’s 15 points — most of those coming in that third and fourth quarter — gave the Rams (6-0, 1-0) a lead that it would never surrender, but only grow. 

Hagans will be looking for triple-double No. 5 Tuesday night as the Rams take on cross county rival, Eastside at 7:30 p.m. 

Eastside (0-4, 0-1 in Region 4-AAAA) is looking for its first win of the season. 

The boys game will follow the sixth-ranked Newton Lady Rams (6-1, 1-0) who also passed their first region test of the season with a 61-58 win over the Lady Comets Friday. When the Newton girls meet their Eastside counterpart, they’ll find a much-improved squad that, at 2-2 and 1-0 in region play, is off to its best four-game start since it began the 2013-14 season with a 3-1 record. 

The Lady Eagles and Lady Rams will tip off at 6 p.m. at Newton High.