COVINGTON - Newton was not about to let visiting Alcovy come in and dominate as the Rams swept Alcovy in Saturday's doubleheader.
The Lady Rams gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a 50-36 win, while the boys held off Alcovy in a 41-38 contest.
Newton 41, Alcovy 38
Like two fighters in a ring, neither of the boys teams seemed eager to mix it up.
Instead, they played it cautious seeing what the other team was doing.
Newton's Jamon Hawkins, who led all scorers with 16 points, struck first, splitting a pair of free throws three minutes into the game.
Alcovy took a 2-1 lead with 4:11 left in the opening frame on a Jamieson Smith field goal.
The Tigers were able to take advantage of Newton's inability to score as they took a 9-4 lead at the end of the first period.
"We had great looks, we just couldn't get some shots. We're not going to lose our cool, we're going to stay patient," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "Our kids do a great job of analyzing and breaking things down while they're playing."
Once the Rams realized what they were facing - a zone defense rather then the man-to-man they saw the last time they played - they began shooting and putting points on the board.
"We were patient, and all of a sudden we had 17 in the second quarter, and also they had to play man," Rasmussen said. "We practice against both defenses, you just have to pick your poison.
"When they started going in, we shot over 60 percent in the second quarter. Those things are going to happen."
Newton took a 21-18 lead into the locker room and ended the third quarter ahead 30-27.
Alcovy tied the game at 30 on a Devon Edwards three-point play.
But the Rams, who led by as many as seven points at one time, did not panic. Instead they played their game and kept their edge.
"We kept our composure. We've done that all year long," Rasmussen said. "The kids care about each other and trust each other, and that's just a recipe for success."
Alcovy kept the game close but the Tigers were never able to get in front of Newton on the scoreboard.
With four seconds left, Alcovy was able to drive the ball the length of the court and put up a 3-point shot that would've sent the game to overtime. But the ball bounced off the front edge of the iron.
Derrick Henry also had double-digit scoring for the Rams with 11 points.
Edwards paced the Tigers on the board with nine points followed by Darius Miller and Smith, who had seven each.
"It was hard-fought," Rasmussen said. "I fully expected them to play well and put up a great fight. On the other hand, I thought our kids did a lot of really, really good things. We took care of the ball, shot a good percentage and made our free throws when we had to. Our defense was great. We held them to under 40 points which was outstanding."
In Friday's game, Newton beat Douglass 58-45 while the Alcovy boys were also victorious, edging Dutchtown 39-37.
Newton 50, Alcovy 36
The Lady Tigers had a chance to put Newton in a hole as the Lady Rams only managed to score seven points in the opening quarter.
However, Alcovy started even slower, trailing 7-4 after the first.
"We both got off to a slow start," Alcovy coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "Neither team was able to score early and get into any type of rhythm in the game. We had a lot of opportunities to score, but we didn't capitalize on it and we started to turn the ball over a little bit and gave up some offensive rebounds."
Leading 20-12 at halftime, the Lady Rams came out and started to find the bottom of the net in the third quarter.
Alcovy tried to rally back in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Tigers were too far behind to catch the Lady Rams.
"For some reason, we haven't been playing very well in the third quarter," Holtzclaw said. "We started off the first half of the season playing our best basketball in the third quarter. Then we got a little bit too relaxed. With our lack of numbers and size, we have very little room for error, and we can't afford to come out relaxed not playing at 100 percent."
Emili Russ led Newton with 11 points, followed by Leah Butler (9) and Danyel Fourney (7).
The Lady Tigers were led by Alex Tucker, who had 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
Two of Alcovy's top scorers, Lisa Kossally and Kate Palo, were held to three and five points, all on free throws.
"There are some positives that we can capitalize on, Lisa and Kate have been opening things up for the post players," Holtzclaw said. "Those are things we've been practicing as well."
Both teams suffered losses in Friday's games. The Lady Rams lost to Douglass 44-35, while Alcovy fell 64-47 to Dutchtown.
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.