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Newton girls fall in final seconds 56-55

COVINGTON -- None of Newton's 17 turnovers was costlier than its final one with 3.4 seconds left on the clock resulting in a 56-55 loss to Luella on Tuesday.

Precious Price, who along with Milola Burks had 14 for Newton, sank a basket with 21 seconds left to give the Lady Rams a 55-53 lead.

But the Lady Lions were able to drive the ball giving Carrington Johnson an open look at a 3-pointer to give Luella the one-point lead.

Newton let time come off the clock before getting the ball and calling a timeout with 3.4 seconds left. After calling a timeout before the inbound violation, the Lady Rams tried to inbound the ball but it sailed out of bounds giving Luella the ball and the win.

"It wasn't the number of turnovers that got us, it was the time that got us. We made some mental mistakes that cost us in the end," said Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson.

The Lady Rams stayed in the game during the first period against a taller Luella team using a strong defense. Newton's defense had four steals, two blocked shots and forced six turnovers in the first quarter.

Newton led by five points with 2:16 left in the half before fouls started adding up as Luella took a 25-24 lead to end the opening half. Even though Luella committed nine fouls in the first half, Newton had 12.

"That hurt us big time. It put (Emili Russ) on the bench with two, Tai (Avery) got three in the first half and that disrupted our flow and chemistry on the floor," Johnson said. "I'm not going to blame it on the refs. We were reaching instead of moving our feet and that's what happens."

Newton's offense came to life to start the third as it outscored Luella 8-0 to take a 36-28 lead. But Luella returned the favor opening up big to start the final frame eventually taking the lead midway through the quarter.

Luella's Brittney Guy led all scorers with 22 points. Also scoring in double figures was Danyel Fourney for the Lady Rams with 13.