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Price, Burks lead Rams past Patriots

Newton's Precious Price chases down a loose ball in Saturday's win over Heritage.

Newton's Precious Price chases down a loose ball in Saturday's win over Heritage.

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Heritage's Morgan Tatum (14) goes up for a shot Saturday against Newton.

COVINGTON - The Newton girl's basketball team had too much of Precious Price and Mikola Burks Saturday against Heritage. Price scored 17 points and Burks added 14 in a 56-46 win in Covington.

Newton (10-2), which won its sixth consecutive game, built its largest lead of the day at 47-35 on a bucket by Danyel Fourney. Heritage pulled to within 49-43 at the 2:31 mark of the fourth quarter, thanks to Che Hardaway, who had five of her 12 points during a quick, one-minute spurt. But the Rams got a corner 3-pointer out of Burks to push the margin back out to nine with two minutes left. Heritage got to within six again on a coast-to-coast lay up by Alexis Hawkins, but Price made a tough jumper in the lane to make it 54-46.

Heritage (9-6) dropped its second game in as many nights and trailed for much of the opening quarter Saturday, going down by as many as four points on two occasions, the last of which came when Price drained a 3-pointer at the 1:45 mark. But the Patriots erased the deficit and tied the game at 12-12 on a buzzer-beating lay up by Aujana Dawkins (team-high 13 points).

Newton came out strong in the second, scoring the first nine points to go up 21-12 on a field goal by Price, who had 12 points in the opening half. The visitors went nearly four minutes without scoring, finally getting a long rebound and lay up by Che Hardaway with 4:12 to play in the quarter. Shanique Heard's pretty bank shot and a free throw from Jada Cost helped the Patriots close to within 25-21 at halftime.

The Patriots' shooting woes early in quarters continued as Dawkins' bucket with 2:59 left was Heritage's first field goal of the second half. Newton went up by 11 as Price hit a nice foul line jump shot, then Dawkins had another field goal and fed Hardaway for a lay up that made it a 38-29 game after three.

Newton boys 63, Heritage 31

Stephen Croone scored 15 points and four others had at least eight points as Newton rolled in the nightcap. Croone got started right away, scoring nine in the opening quarter and the Rams led 28-19 at halftime. Heritage went ice cold in the second half, collecting just four made field goals in the final 16 minutes and the Newton defense held the visiting Patriots to five fourth-quarter points.

"I thought it was a well-rounded game, I thought we played well for all four quarters," said Newton coach Rick Rasmussen, whose team won its eighth consecutive game.

For Heritage, Mark Wilkerson led the way with 11 points and Steven Everson added eight.