Rams take two from Eastside

COVINGTON - Newton's basketball teams continued their domination over crosstown rival Eastside with a yet another sweep Saturday.

The Newton girls (1-1) started the doubleheader with a 43-39 win, while the Newton boys finished the job by beating the host team 53-48.

In the boys game, Newton (2-0) jumped out to an 11-6 lead before Gabe Mathis' 3-pointer tied the game at 13 to end the opening frame.

Mathis, who led Eastside with 15 points, gave the Eagles (3-1) a 20-19 lead by making both free throws. However, the lead did not last long as Sean Monk, who led all scorers with 24 points, gave the Rams the lead back.

"I figure Sean's a big-time player," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "We knew it would be tough, and Sean relishes that, and he was our leader. He flew under the radar for a couple of weeks, and we knew what he could do. I thought he did a great job."

Newton jumped out to a 25-20 lead before Eastside closed the gap to make it 25-23 at the half.

Eastside's Artis Clanton, who scored 10 points, was able to get back the two the Eagles trailed by with eight points in the third quarter.

With the score tied at 35 heading into the final period, Monk hit a 3-pointer to give the Rams the lead. The Eagles were unable to retake the lead for the rest of the game.

Newton built a seven-point lead at 44-37, but the Eagles came back to make it 46-45. The Rams were able to outscore Eastside 7-3 in the final minute to secure the victory.

Helping in Newton's win was its free-throw shooting in the fourth period. The Rams made 11 of 14 attempts from the charity stripe.

"It was a competitors-type ballgame," Rasmussen said. "We love to play in these things. We want to play, we want it to be special, we want it to be packed, we want people to care about it and that makes it all the more fun."

In the girls game, the Lady Eagles (0-1) started the game strong as they kept Newton from taking a commanding lead. However, Eastside also stopped itself with turnovers.

"We've got to learn to take care of the ball better," Eastside coach Jason Grooms said. "I thought we had some good defensive stops, and we'd get steals. Then we turned the ball right back over and can't capitalize on the effort we did display on the defensive end.

"We have to get better at that, but we have to learn when to go and when to pull it back."

Despite the turnovers, the Lady Eagles took the lead on a Jade Cook basket two minutes into the game and held it until the final 26 seconds of the half.

Before Newton took the 22-21 lead on a pair of Martice Hyman free throws, the Lady Rams tied the game seven times.

The Lady Eagles were able to grab the lead back in the third period.

Eastside gave up the lead when the referees mistakenly gave the Lady Rams the ball following a timeout to give Newton a 37-35 lead.

Newton lost possession on a traveling call, but the refs gave the ball to the Lady Rams on an inbounds play following the timeout.

Despite the bad luck, it did not make a difference as the Lady Eagles were outscored 6-4 after the error.

"I don't think that's what cost us the game by any stretch," Grooms said. "Obviously, you want the ball when it's your ball, but I don't think that's why we lost the game."

Newton's Loren Wilkens led all scorers with 12 points, while Newton's Shay Marks and Eastside's Cook, each with 10 points, were the only other players in double-digits.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.