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Rams clinch holiday tourney
The Newton boys varsity basketball program picked up a pair of wins over the break to up its record to 4-0 this season. The Rams defeated Cass High School and Paulding County in the 2013 Hoops for Hope Cancer Classic. - photo by Anthony Banks/The Covington News

The Newton Rams boys varsity basketball team finished off its Thanksgiving holiday week with a win, defeating Cass High School 58-36 last Saturday to improve its record to 4-0.

The Rams earned a 38-36 win over Paulding County in their opening game of the 2013 Hoops for Hope Cancer Classic, narrowly defeating the Patriots to keep their tournament victory chances alive on Friday.

Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said the tournament win was not only important for the Rams program, but also for him.

"For me, personally, this tournament title was for my dad, who is battling cancer himself," Ramussen said. "He is a real fighter and has been undergoing chemotheraphy for a very aggressive prostate cancer. I am very proud of him and the character he has shown."

The Rams led 33-11 at halftime, bulding up a 22-point first-half lead after outscoring the Colonels 16-5 in the first quarter.

The Rams were led for the second game in a row in scoring by Darvin Jones, who paced Newton with 13 points in the win. Jalen Glover also finished in double digits for the Rams with 10 points, while D.J. Hill and Caylen Gooch added nine and eight points, respectively.

Newton edged Paulding County in the opening game of the tournament 38-36.

Paulding County led 11-9 after the first quarter, but Newton held the Patriots to just 13 combined points in the second and third quarters, carrying a 30-24 lead into the fourth period.

The Rams held off the Patriots' late fourth-quarter comeback, scoring eight points in the final quarter for the two-point win.

Jones led Newton with 17 points against Paulding County.

"It was good for us to get two wins away from home," Rasmussen said. "We are hoping this will prepare us for the road games we have coming up...our team is getting better and starting to identify their roles more effectively. We want to play to our strengths and get better at our weaknesses."

"Tonight, I felt like we shot the ball much more confidently than we did (Friday) night and it showed. We jumped on (Cass) from the beginning and never looked back."

Lady Eagles stay unbeaten

The Eastside girls varsity basketball team started its sason off with a bang over the holiday week, going 3-0 at the 2013 Morrow Thanksgiving Tournament.

The Lady Eagles defeated Clarkston 66-10 last Wednesday in the opening round of the tournament before knocking off Greenforest and The Bradwell Institute.

Against Clarkston, Jazzmine Cook led the Lady Eagles with 18 points in the 56-point win, while Cook added 23 against Greenforest. Deshantra Helly and Zaria Barton
also finished in double figures against Greenforest with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Eastside closed the tournament with a 73-58 win over Bradwell, with Cook again leading the Lady Eagles with 16 points.

The Eastside boys varsity basketball team fell 67-57 to Grayson in the second round of the 2013 Walnut Grove Thanksgiving Shootout. The Eagles defeated Mundy's Mill 68-65 in the opening round.

Alcovy struggles

The Alcovy Tigers also finished with a 0-2 mark at the Walnut Grove tournament, falling 93-51 to South Atlanta last Tuesday. The Lady Tigers also fell on the road in the Walnut Grove tournament 54-51 to South Effingham.

Full Tuesday night game coverage can be found at