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Teams finish strong after losing first game in tourneys

COVINGTON — The Newton boys along with the Eastside and Heritage girls finished their tournament play with a pair of wins after losing the tournament opener to each end with a 2-1 record.

Newton

After losing the first game of the Yuletide Christmas Classic at Wallace State College in Hanceville, Ala., the Newton boys came back to win their next two games, finishing with a 2-1 record.

“Only one team goes 3-0,” Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. “It was a great tournament and great experience for us. We learned a lot and found some things we need to work on.

“The bracket we were in was extremely difficult, opening up with the No. 1 team in AAAA. This is probably the best Christmas tournament in Alabama.”

The Rams beat Ravenwood (Tenn.) 56-53 on Friday before beating Gardendale (Ala.) 54-51 on Saturday to end the tournament.

In Friday’s game, the Rams were able to hold down their opponent’s 6-8 threat in the middle of the floor with pressure by Rashard Cabane, who held him to a mere 13 points while forcing their big man into foul trouble. Cabane played equally well on offense, scoring 22 points and 14 rebounds. He was almost perfect from the free-throw line, going 12-for-13. As a team, the Rams made 71 percent of their free throws going 29-for-41.

Newton almost closed out the tournament with a loss as it had a hard time against Gardendale. The Rams had a 10-point lead in the third quarter before the Rockets went on an 11-0 run. However, the Rams were able to regain the lead to end the third frame and held on for the win.

Cabane, who was named to the All-Tournament team, had 10 points, with Taylor Hawkins leading the team with 12 points followed by Rody Mitchell’s 11.

Eastside girls

The Lady Eagles finished the Antebellum Holiday Tournament with a 2-1 record. After losing the opener 50-34 to Cedar Shoals, Eastside came back to tie the tournament with a 66-33 win over East Laurens. The third game was a win for Eastside as a result of a forfeit by Therrell.

Against East Laurens, Jazzmine Cook led all scorers with 17 points while getting four rebounds and four steals. Also scoring in double figures were Alexis Stokes with 11 points and Zaria Hall-Barton with 10. Stokes and Hall-Barton also dominated the boards with eight and seven rebounds, respectively.

Heritage girls

The Heritage girls lost the opening game of the Walnut Grove Christmas Tournament to George Walnut 46-33, but they came back strong to win their next two games by 11 and 17 points.

The Lady Patriots beat Walnut Grove 59-38 on Friday before ending the tournament with a 2-1 record, beating Jefferson 49-31.

“I’m happy with the way our team is playing,” Heritage head coach Lauren Chambers said. “We’re coming together.”

Making the All-Tournament from Heritage was Aujana Dawkins who had 18 points against Walnut Grove and nine against Jefferson.

Also scoring in double-digits were Sierra Crosson (17) against Walnut Grove while Che’ Hardaway had a team-leading 16 points against Jefferson.

Rockdale girls

Melissa Turvy hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 26 seconds left to put Peachtree Ridge up by one point and the Lions held off Rockdale County for a 44-43 win Saturday. Turvy finished with 22 points and five boards as Peachtree Ridge claimed fifth place in the Silver Division of Peach State Basketball’s Holiday Invitational.

Correspondent Guy Curtright contributed to this story.