The Newton Rams took the long bus ride to East Coweta Friday hoping to rebound from their gut-wrenching loss to Westlake Tuesday. They did so and more as they came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and coasted to a 90-51 win.
It was Newton’s strongest offensive showing of the season and included 30 points in the opening stanza.
“It was a great game for us, a good bounce back after a tough one on Tuesday night," Newton Head Coach Rick Rasmussen said of his team’s performance. "It’s nice to get back on the winning side and hopefully give us some momentum heading into the rivalry game against Alcovy. We got off to a great start swinging the ball, looking for the open man. Jalen Glover gave us a spark hitting two threes to start the game.”
Glover had plenty of support as the Rams filled it up in their most prolific opening quarter of the season. Justin Thompson sank a pair of threes and had nine of his 13 points in the quarter.
The Rams' defense smothered East Coweta and the quarter ended with Newton up 30-5.
The Rams kept their foot on the accelerator in the second quarter as they expanded the lead to 36 and went to halftime up 54-18. Senior Stephen Croone got it going in the second quarter as he scored nine of his game high 25 points. There was no let up in the third quarter as the Rams upped their lead to 39 (81-42) as the period ended. By the middle of the period Rasmussen had cleared his bench. Four of Newton’s starters hit double figures, led by Croone’s 25, Shane Henry’s 14, Thompson’s 13 and Glover’s 10. Rashard Cabane just missed joining that crowd with 8. “It was a great game by the starters,” added Rasmussen, “and our bench played really well too. Jamir Davis scored his first varsity points (five) and Albert Zachary had four points. The reserves all work hard in practice every day, so it was great that they got some extended playing time.”
Newton’s defensive pressure forced East Coweta into a total of 25 turnovers, including 17 steals. Offensively the Rams shared the ball well, notching 22 assists on the night. Justin Thompson had six assists and four steals and Stephen Croone added five assists. Jamir Davis had two assists and three steals. Taylor Hawkins came off the bench to record a game-high nine rebounds, while scoring five points. While not a total dunkfest, the Rams did have three players with dunks on the night: Shane Henry, Stephen Croone and Rashard Cabane with his first varsity dunk.
Newton has now won nine of their last 10 games and stands at 10-4 (3-3 Region 2-AAAAA) on the season. “The whole team played well tonight, but we still have some things to work on and get better at," Coach Rasmussen said. "But it was nice to get a region win on the road and get back on the winning side.”
Girls - Newton 68, East Coweta 33
The Newton Lady Rams set the tone for the evening as they thrashed the Lady Indians of East Coweta by a 68-33 final. Senior Mikola Burks found the range early and often from three-point range and scored 11 of her game high 21 points in the first quarter. She would finish the night hitting a total of five from downtown. The first quarter came to a close with the Lady Rams firmly in front at 25-6.
Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson was very pleased with her team. “I feel like we finally played a complete game," she said. "We jumped out early and kept it going. We were able to avoid a bad quarter tonight. It was really a team effort as everyone contributed. The girls played unselfishly tonight, always looking to make the extra pass. It was great that everyone got to play.”