The Newton Rams culminated their week of three road games with a 73-52 beat down of the Heritage Patriots on Saturday afternoon at Heritage.
The win was Newton's sixth in a row and 15th of their last 17, increasing their overall record to 16-5 (7-3 Region 2-AAAAA). Newton Head Coach Rick Rasmussen was pleased with the week that was.
"It was nice to finish off a road week with our third win and sixth in a row overall," Rasmussen said. "We did a much better job on the boards against them this time. We have been a good rebounding team all year and that needs to continue if we are going to be successful down the stretch."
The Rams came out on fire in the first quarter and scored at will while building a 22-14 lead. Stephen Croone popped in 13 of his game high 21 points in the period and Shane Henry added seven of his total 13.
The second quarter saw balanced scoring by the visitors and it resulted in a 16 point lead, 38-22, as the half ended.
In the third quarter Justin Thompson and Rashard Cabane took over for the Rams. J.T. had seven of his 16 points in the stanza and Cabane added six of his eight as the Newton lead increased to 55-32 as the period ended.
Rasmussen was able to get his reserves some extended playing time and he liked what he saw.
"Our reserves played well, particularly T-Hawk [Taylor Hawkins] who played well defensively and had a well rounded game coming off the bench with five points and four rebounds," Rasmussen said. "He works hard on defense and is aggressive to the basket on offense."
It was another good night on the stat sheet for the Ram senior starters. Croone added three assists and four steals to his 21 points while Thompson had seven helpers, three steals and three rebounds with his 16.
Shane Henry notched another double-double as he collected 12 boards, four blocks, two assists and took a charge to go along with his 13 points. Overall the Rams out rebounded Heritage by a 38-25 margin and forced twice as many turnovers.
"The Big Three of J.T., Stephen and Shane played extremely well today controlling inside and outside," said Coach Rasmussen. "They played like seniors should and we need their leadership to continue."
The quickness of the Ram guards showed as they were fouled numerous times attacking the basket. Led by Thompson's 10 of 12 free throws, Newton hit 25 of 33 shots from the charity stripe (76 percent), while Heritage only managed 10 of 16 (63 percent).
The one bright spot for Heritage was their shooting from three-point range. They landed eight of 19 shots from long distance for 42 percent and were led by Dave Rowe's 16 points. A total of five different Patriots hit a three in the game. But in the end it was too much Newton and another 20-point win for the Rams.
Last night the Rams hosted the Newnan Cougars. Be sure and check Friday's Covington News for the results.