After waking up from the winter wonderland that overtook the region this week, the Newton Rams faced visiting Woodland Saturday fresh off a four-day break, defeating the Wolfpack 56-38 in non-region action.
The victory completed the season sweep of Woodland for the Rams, who had defeated the Wolfpack 54-39 earlier this season.
After a slow start, the Rams shook off the rust and carried a three-point lead into halftime after trailing in the first quarter.
The Wolfpack failed to capitalize on Newton’s opening miscues, looking as rusty as their counterparts themselves.
Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said that he thought his team’s rust would play a factor, but in the end, Newton rallied when it needed to, improving its record to 17-4 overall.
“I thought whoever was the least rusty and the least sloppy would have the advantage,” Rasmussen said. “Overall, we were less sloppy than they were.”
It was all-around solid performance by the Rams, led by junior guard D.J. Hill. Hill had 13 points in the game and was helped by fellow guard Darvin Jones, also with 13 points.
Keion Sims also pitched in with 12 points down low for Newton, giving the Rams three double-digit scorers.
Despite Newton’s slow start, the Rams weren’t out of it after the first quarter.
Newton trailed by one after the first periody, but Hill jump- started the Rams by scoring their first seven points. He gave the Rams their first lead early in the second quarter after battling back and forth, helping Newton to a 23-20 advantage at halftime.
Newton ignited a key run in the third quarter that helped it distance itself from the Wolfpack. Up 32-30, Newton went on an 11-0 run, with Jones scoring eight points during the stretch.
Newton maintained its lead in the fourth quarter, fending off the Wolfpack over the final eight minutes for the 18-point victory.
Newton returns to action Tuesday in the first of four region games next week. The Rams host Morrow on Tuesday before traveling to Rockdale County on Wednesday and Druid Hills on Friday.
The Rams close the weekend at home against Luella on Senior Night.
Luella currently sits in first place in the region, and a win over the Lions could improve Newton’s region seeding heading into the postseason tournament.