COVINGTON - Home court advantage worked for the Eastside Lady Eagles, but it didn't do much for the Eastside boys as they split with Newton on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles took the first game of the twin bill 60-44, while the Newton boys completed a four-game sweep over local schools with a 64-55 win.
"This game clinched another Newton County championship for our program, as we are 4-0 this season versus our rivals," Newton boys coach Rick Rasmussen said. "Our kids finished the game well."
Newton 64, Eastside 55
A big fourth quarter by Newton meant the difference between winning and losing for the Rams.
With the scored tied at 39 at the end of the third period Newton exploded to outscore the Eagles 25-16 for the win.
"That was a fun final quarter. I am proud of the way we came back and finished off the game in style," Rasmussen said. "When we play under control, good things happen.
"We shot 7 of 11 from the field and 11 of 11 from the free-throw line to seal the win."
Derrick Henry came up big for the Rams in the final period, scoring 11 of his game-high 25 points.
Also scoring in double-digits with 15 points was Jamon Hawkins.
The Eagles started the game keeping up with Newton's intensity as Eastside ended the first half leading 24-22.
Cameron Robinson was responsible for a lot of Eastside's early success, scoring 11 of his 22 points in the first half.
Also having a big game against Newton was Neal Latimore, who scored 11 points.
Eastside came out of halftime controling both sides of the court, taking a 37-28 lead with 5:17 left in the period.
It was a quarter of two different runs, first by Eastside and then Newton who finished the quarter with the momentum.
"We called timeout and told our kids we needed to have a bounce back and get back to playing team ball," Rasmussen said. "We had made some poor decisions and gave them easy baskets. We needed to settle down and play Newton basketball. Once we did that, we finished the game strong.
After the timeout, the Rams went on an 11-2 run to end the frame tied.
The Rams outscored Eastside by 18 points in the last 13 minutes of the game as well as gaining the upper hand on rebounds.
Eastside 60, Newton 44
The Lady Eagles set the tone early, making their shots and keeping Newton off balance to take a 21-9 lead.
Eastside continued its dominance on its home floor in the second period, scoring 11 points while holding the Lady Rams to seven.
Helping Eastside take a 16-point halftime lead was Ieisha Williams who had a strong opening half with nine points.
Sade Weaver tried to get the Lady Rams back into the game with 14 points, but Eastside was not about to let its lead vanish.
Besides doing their part on the floor, the Lady Eagles also kept Newton from coming back, making 17 of their 23 shots from the free-throw line.
"We shot 74 percent from the free throw line, which has been a problem for us all year," Eastside coach Jason Grooms said.
Eastside led 43-30 to start the fourth period before outscoring Newton 17-14 to win the game by 16 points.
J'Quyra Moncur-Blue and Jjade Cook had the best nights for the Lady Rams, scoring 16 and 12 points.
Thirteen of Moncur-Blue's points came in the second half, while Cook added eight rebounds to her stats.
"It was a total team effort, and the girls played extremely hard. They also executed very well all night," Grooms said.
"Raven Williams and Carmen Robinson both played great on the defensive end."
Williams and Robinson, along with Newton's Chaconna Marks, had seven points.
"We are starting to play our best basketball at the right time, winning back-to-back games. We hope to finish the regular season strong heading into the region tournament."
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.