COVINGTON - The Newton girls tipped off the 2007-08 basketball season Tuesday night with a 52-39 loss to Jackson.
Newton led early, but Jackson claimed the lead late in the first quarter and controlled the game the rest of the way.
"I don't think we came out ready to play," Newton coach Tiffani Johnson said. "I'm a firm believer in you play like you practice. If you don't do the things you're supposed to do in practice, then you won't do it in the game."
Newton led 10-6 in the first quarter, but Jackson went on an 8-0 run to take a 14-10 lead at the end of the period. The Lady Red Devils outscored Newton 14-6 in the second quarter to lead 28-16 at halftime.
Late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, Newton went on a 9-0 run to pull within six at 36-30, but couldn't overcome the deficit.
"I thought it took until the second half to get started," Johnson said. "If they play the first half like the second half, it might have been a different story."
Jackson's Kornisha Miller led all scorers with 17 points. Krystal Sanders added 10 and Jasmine Smith had nine.
Shay Marks led Newton with 16, including 11 second-half points. Loren Shandria Usher scored eight, and Loren Wilkins added six.
Newton will get back into action Saturday at Eastside.
"That's always a big game, but we'll play it as another game," Johnson said. "We'll practice hard all week and prepare for Saturday."
Anthony Rhoads can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.