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Rams defense comes up big in tournament win

COMMERCE -- The Newton boys basketball team put on a defensive clinic Wednesday in Commerce.

The Rams, playing for the first time in 10 days, held Stephens County to four second-half points and scoreless in the fourth quarter of a 63-18 victory in the Wing Slingers Holiday Bash at East Jackson High School. Newton (5-3) will play in Thursday's semifinals at 2 p.m. against Banks County.

"Our defensive intensity was outstanding," said Rams coach Rick Rasmussen. "Probably our best defensive game of the year."

Justin Thompson out-scored Stephens County by himself, leading the Rams with 19 points, while Stephen Croone added 13.Rockdale girls beat AppalacheeATLANTA -- At the Peach State Hoops Tournament, Rockdale kept its unbeaten start intact at 9-0 with a 69-36 win over Apalachee in the semifinals of the silver bracket.

Tennessee state signee Brianna Lawrence scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Bulldogs, who will play the winner of Northside-Warner Robins-J.L. Mann (South Carolina) in today's championship game at 11 a.m.

In another semifinal, Alcovy lost its first game of the year, 55-47 to Greater Atlanta Christian. The Tigers (10-1), will play in the third-place game of the white bracket today at 9 a.m.