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PREP BASKETBALL: Newton Lady Rams in control despite Lady Tigers late fight
Newton and Alcovy
Newton's Ashleigh Norris (2) and Alcovy's Anyalia Lundy (4) race for a loose basketball in a tight game between the two rivals. Photo by Anthony Banks.

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Alcovy Lady Tigers did not go down without a fight, but the hosting Newton Lady Rams were able to control the game at the end and take a tight 50-44 victory from their county foes.

Lady Rams head coach Tiffani Johnson has said in the past that she "would take an ugly win over a pretty loss," any day, and this game seemed to be in par with an ugly win.

"Let it go. No matter how well or bad you play, you have to come back the next day and start all over again," Johnson said when asked what the message was to her team after the game. "We made a lot of mistakes and let the referees get in our heads, and we were worried about trying to figure out how they were calling instead of trying to scoring or working defensively."

Johnson continued this statement by complimenting the Tigers' intensity, especially in the third quarter. Tigers' head coach Justin Hunter was very pleased and proud of the effort his team displayed over the course of the contest.

"The effort was there today. In life, with many situations, is not always going to be the end result that you may desire, but if you look and reflect back upon then you can try and see what effort did I try to do to get to that end result and you can sometimes be satisfied with that," Hunter said. "Tonight, it speaks for itself, they're a first-class program, and we came in here in a playoff environment. This type of environment on the road, I'm proud of the effort."

Despite trailing by a 33-22 score at the halftime break, the Lady Tigers continued to fight and show the effort that Hunter wanted to see until the final buzzer, but they never could pull any closer than five points within the Lady Rams. 

Hunter believes a few missed shots around the basket were most likely the difference in the ball game and had they converted a few more of those; then it may have been a game that finished in the Tigers favor. 

The Lady Rams were led by their guards in the stat sheet as Ashleigh Norris led the way with 12 points, and Maka'ya Cushion followed her with 10 points. It was Ajoyous Tuggle of the Lady Tigers that led all scorers with 13 points, and Dalehia Bolden followed her on their team with 8 points. 

With this win now behind the Lady Rams, when Johnson was asked what area she needs to see the most improvement, she let out a huge sigh and mentioned free throws, as the Lady Rams finished 11-for-21 at the charity stripe.

"Free throws and rebounding. We were just fumbling. We would get a steal and turn it right back over, have a rebound lose it, so just taking care of that small 28.5 oz ball, and we gotta have that," Johnson said. "We gotta value it, so free throws, rebounding and stop fouling."

The Lady Rams will look to put together four quarters of excellent basketball in their next game, which is another rivalry contest with the Lady Eagles of Eastside paying the Lady Rams a visit on Saturday, Dec. 21.