The Newton boys' basketball team is in an unfamiliar place after a 65-50 loss at Rockdale Tuesday night.
It is the third straight loss for the Rams, the first such streak since early in the 2011-12 season. During that three-game skid all the losses came by two points - 79-77 loss triple overtime loss to Alcovy Dec. 3, 56-54 to M.L. King on Dec. 6 and 48-46 overtime loss to Langston Hughes on Dec. 9.
After falling to Rockdale following a 45-38 loss at Eastside Saturday and an 81-78 double-overtime loss to Luella on Friday the Rams are looking to avoid four straight losses for the first time since Jan. 27-Feb. 6 of the 2008-09 season.
Newton is at risk of the streak after Rockdale got out to a fast start both offensively and defensively. Rockdale (8-7, 2-1 Region 2-AAAAAA) jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first five minutes. The Bulldogs used a trapping defense to keep Newton's perimeter players off balance, and without a go-to-scorer the Rams couldn't find a rhythm.
Rockdale ended the first quarter ahead 19-10 after shooting 8 of 11 from the field, including two 3-pointers, while Newton was just 4-of-10 shooting in the first eight minutes.
Newton finished shooting 19 of 24 from the field, while the Bulldogs were 24 of 45 from the floor and 8 of 20 from behind the 3-point arch.
Conner Ferrell made all four of his 3-pointers en route to 21 points for the Bulldogs as he was left open on the wing after C.J. Wilson drove toward double teams.
Wilson finished with 12 points and Darryle Tucker had 10 for Rockdale, which won its second straight and hosts Alcovy Friday.
After trailing 35-21 at halftime, Newton opened the third quarter with a 10-5 run to cut it to nine, 40-31 forcing a Rockdale timeout. Newton scored the next two baskets out of the timeout to make it 40-34 but couldn't get any closer.
Rockdale went on a 10-3 run to put it out of reach behind four free throws from Wilson, who also had five assists. The Rockdale senior leads Region 2-AAAAAA with 16.2 points and 74-percent free-throw shooting.
The win moved Rockdale into the top four of Region 2-AAAAAA teams with a 2-1 league record, while Newton dropped to 1-3.
Rashard Cabane had 12 points and Taylor Hawkins and D.J. Hill added 10 each for the Rams.