COVINGTON -- Newton's boys basketball team started slow but was able to pick up the pace to get a 16-point, 41-25, win over Newnan on Tuesday.
Trailing 4-1 midway through the first period, the Rams (17-5 overall, 8-3 Region 2-AAAAA) started finding the bottom of the net to take a 10-6 lead over Newnan (10-12, 1-10) at the end of the quarter.
"It was a slowdown game of sorts, but we took control of the game in the second quarter, led by nine (21-21) at the half and had it in double digits most of the second half," said Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen. "We seemed to be keeping them off balance by mixing up our defenses, so we really weren't in a hurry to speed up the game."
Stephen Croone led all scorers with 18 points, with Shane Henry, Rashard Cabane and Justin Thompson also having big games. Henry controlled the boards with 13 rebounds and four blocks. Cabane had six points and six rebounds with Thompson adding seven points.
"We held them to 25 points and won by 16 points, so although it was a low-scoring affair, I was pleased with the final result. Newnan has been playing well lately, losing to Hughes by two in (double overtime) and at M.L. King in overtime by one," said Rasmussen.
"This was our seventh straight win so hopefully we can carry some momentum with us when we go to Westlake Saturday night. They are ranked No. 2 in AAAAA (according to PrepCountry/GACA) and we just cracked the polls for the first time since the preseason, so it should be a great game."
It was a defensive battle in their first meeting as Westlake took the win 46-45. The winner of the game will hold an advantage in region standings as Newton is in second place with Westlake sitting on top.
The Eastside boys (11-11 overall, 9-4 Region 4-AAA) basketball team improved to third place in the region standings after their 49-41 win over Stockbridge (8-13, 7-6) on Tuesday in a game they needed as the Eagles continue their push toward the Class AAA playoffs.
"It was an ugly win, but a win is a win," said Eastside head coach Gregory Freeman. "Some nights you have to grind it out and we are learning that if you play defense, even on nights when your offense is ugly. You can still win games."
Eastside took a 16-10 lead at the end of the opening period before the Tigers tied the game at 22 to end the half.
After taking a 33-32 lead at the end of the third, Eastside dominated, outscoring Stockbridge 16-9 for the eight-point win.
Ben Miller made the biggest impact for the Eagles, scoring 15 points while grabbing five boards and passing the ball off for four assists. Getting double-digit scoring for Eastside were Quindariuos Russell (11 points, six rebounds) and Chavis Williams with 10 points and four rebounds.