COVINGTON - On any other night, the Newton Rams usually have a hot hand from the field and the free-throw line.
Against Redan, their game cooled off in a 44-38 loss Friday.
The Lady Rams were unable to keep up with the Lady Raiders, No. 2 in Class AAAAA, in a 64-52 defeat.
Redan 44, Newton 38
Newton took advantage of Redan's turnovers and hubris in the first half as the Rams built a small lead.
The Raiders, trying to display athletic prowess, missed out on eight points by trying to dunk instead of taking easy layups. They also had 10 first-half turnovers compared to Newton's two. Those differences gave Newton a 17-14 halftime lead.
After Newton built a 21-16 lead in the third, Redan went on a 9-0 run to go ahead 25-21.
"We got extended too far in our defense, and they got a couple of back-door dunks and they breathed a little bit better," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said.
Uncharacteristically, the Rams began missing free throws, while the Raiders made 78 percent of their shots, going 14-for-18.
Newton made less than half of its free throws (6-for-14).
"I'm not sure why we didn't make free throws," Rasmussen said. "We shoot 65 percent on the year, and our opponents tend to shoot 58 percent. I don't know why but that was a factor.
"Their guards shoot the ball extremely well, and (Kenny Hall) is going to Tennessee next year."
Even though Newton tried to get back in the game, the Rams' jump shots didn't fall, forcing Newton to foul Redan at the end.
Despite losing, Rasmussen said that his players were able to learn something about themselves.
"It taught our kids that when we value every possession and take care of the ball, we can play with anybody, regardless of their size," he said. "Our game plan was good. Most people don't hold them to 44 points. We just didn't make enough shots. We had good looks, we just didn't have enough shots."
Newton freshman Derrick Henry scored a game-high 16 points. Redan's Deonte Mandledove scored 12.
Just missing out scoring in double figures with nine points were Newton's Jamon Hawkins and Redan's LaTarrance Carter.
Redan 64, Newton 52
The Lady Rams were able to keep pace with Redan early in the game, tying the game at 11 in the first period with a 7-0 run after falling behind early.
However, Redan came back to finish the first period and start the second with a 16-2 run to extend its lead to 27-13.
The Lady Raiders were able to extend their lead to finish the opening half with a 43-24 advantage.
"It's the second-quarter plague we've been going through," Newton coach Tiffani Johnson said. "In the first quarter, we come out hard and do what we need to do. Then I don't know what happens in that second quarter."
Freshmen Emili Russ and Sade Weaver helped the Lady Rams cut Redan's lead in the third quarter, combining for 13 of their 17 points to close the gap to 55-41.
Russ and Weaver led all scorers in the game with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Newton closed the margin a little more, but Redan's inside game was too much for the Lady Rams to handle.
"They have a great inside game," Johnson said. "With the young skinny girls we have, those old thick, muscular post players was a little more then we were able to handle."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.