COVINGTON -- It wasn't easy, but the Newton boys basketball team had to come from behind to go 4-0 for the season after beating Alcovy 47-43 on Saturday.
After their win over the Tigers (0-3, 0-1 Region 2-AAAAAA) the Rams (4-0, 1-0) are unbeaten in region play.
"We have won two of the last three region titles and finished second last year in the regular season and were disappointed in the end result," Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. "So we are fighting to get back on top this season, a task that we understand will be very difficult.
"We are exactly where we wanted to be after four games. Our players have worked extremely hard to get to where we are. We are not extremely tall or loaded with blue chip players, but we are tough physically and we compete and believe in what we do. Our players have done everything we have asked them to do and their attitudes have been outstanding."
The Tigers were in position to put Newton is a hole taking a 15-8 lead in the second quarter. But the Rams were able to battle back going on a 9-0 run to end the first half with a 17-16 lead.
Newton continued to slowly pull away extending their lead to eight points midway through the fourth quarter. Even though the Tigers were down, they refused to go down easy. Alcovy cut Newton's lead to two points but could not overtake the Rams. Helping Newton handled Alcovy's pressure in the stretch was their free-throw shooting despitr going 17-of-36 from the line.
"We were uncharacteristically off at the foul line, but we talked specifically about getting to the line and keeping the pressure on their defense. If we had made 70 percent or higher at the line like we normally do, we would have been in a much better spot overall," Rasmussen said. "We shot 21 more free-throws than Alcovy, which is pretty much dominating the game physically, but obviously we didn't cash in."
Newton's Rashard Cabane led the team with 12 points while bringing down four boards with Jalen Glover scoring eight points and getting five rebounds.
"Newton is now 9-4 overall against Alcovy. We are 15-1 (against) Eastside and with Eastside beating Alcovy on Friday night we knew we had to follow suit if we want to be in the running for the Newton County championship. Last year was the first time we were not county champs and our players took that personally," Rasmussen said. "We know that Eastside is much improved team so we know we'll have to be ready for them on Dec. 15 at home. We take every game very seriously and that will be no different."