COVINGTON - The Newton boys overcame a height deficit to claim a 64-58 win over a much-taller Redan team on Tuesday night.
"Our game plan was to be real physical inside and real tough defensively," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "We played tough with them down low and we used our fouls wisely and were aggressive. We needed to match their intensity and probably have more intensity just to equal out the size factor. I thought we did a great job doing that. This was our biggest win of the year so far. They're the most talented team we've played."
Sean Monk used his experience to help lift the Rams on both sides of the court, leading the field in scoring with 19 points and helping guide the defense to slow down Redan's Kenny Hall, who finished with 17.
"Sean stepped up early, hit a couple of big jumpers and did a good job getting to the basket. He played like the experienced player that he is. That really gave us a lift. He helped calm everybody down," Rasmussen said.
Jamon Hawkins also contributed to the Rams' victory with 15 points, including 12 in the second half.
Newton held a slim 29-28 lead at halftime after the first period ended tied at 16. The Rams took control in the second by outscoring Redan 17-11.
"We've done well coming out at halftime," Rasmussen said. "I don't know if its what we say, maybe we get calmed down and reassure the kids about the game plan. We shot the ball well in the second half all year. We shot 13-for-21 in the second half from the field, that's 62 percent.
Omar Crawley came in off the bench when we were in foul trouble. He stepped in and hit a big 3-pointer in the third quarter then he got fouled taking a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and made all three free throws."
The win puts the Rams (11-13) in a two-way tie for second place with Stephenson as both teams are 4-2 in Region 2-AAAAA play.
Cedar Shoals 51, Alcovy 50
Despite an Alcovy scoring record by Worrel Clahar, the Tigers (4-7 overall, 0-1 in 8-AAAA South) let a close game slip away losing to Cedar Shoals 51-50 on Tuesday.
Clahar finished the game with 38 points, scoring in double figures in three of the four quarters. He had 10 points in the first quarter, 12 in the second, four in the third and 12 in the fourth.
"That's a career-high for him as an individual and for the school, but I'm sure that he'd trade that in for a win," Alcovy boys coach Eugene Brown said.
Loose balls and free throws led to Alcovy's defeat. The Jaguars had made 21 of 32 attempts from the free throw line for a 65 percent mark.
"I can't tell you what happened, they got a lot more shots than we planned on," Brown said. "But it shouldn't be a concern. We didn't get the stops when we needed to get stops. The free throws are not a problem, some of the guys were a little aggressive out there but that's what we want.
"They got to a lot of loose balls that for whatever reason we couldn't get to. That was really a big difference in the game. Every time the ball came free it seems they came up with it and it usually led to something positive on their end. We just need to be a little more aggressive in that area."
The Tigers trailed Cedar Shoals 16-15 in the first quarter before Alcovy took a 30-23 lead into the locker room.
Although the Jaguars closed the gap in the third frame, Alcovy still led by three points. However, the Tigers were unable to stop Cedar Shoals as they were outscored 19-15 in the final eight minutes.
The Jaguars had three players in double figures. Casey Arnold led Cedar Shoals with 13 points followed by Kory Kilpatrick (11) and D.T. Evans (10).
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.