Turnovers doom Eastside girls vs. rival Newton

COVINGTON -- Newton's girls basketball team took advantage of Eastside's turnovers in their come from behind 63-38 win between the county rivals on Saturday.

Even though Newton had their share of turnovers committing eight, the Lady Rams defense put the pressure on the Eastside girls forcing them to turn the ball over 17 times.

"That was one of our goals, to put some pressure on them and let our defense be our offense. We did a good job of forcing some turnovers," said Newton head coach Tiffani Johnson. "We had some of our own but we did a good job of creating some."

In the first quarter, the Lady Rams had a hard time getting started as turnovers and slow play allowed Eastside to take a 15-14 lead. But Newton quickly got on track with two seven-point runs as they had a commanding 33-25 lead at halftime.

Newton started the second half with the same intensity they ended the first half with a 14th run jumping out to a 47-25 lead before Eastside scored with 2:06 left in the third.

"It was one of those things where we didn't come one with intensity. It took awhile for us to warm up. I don't know if it was the nerves of the rivalry game or what. Once we shook the nerves of the rivalry game and the turnovers we were able to play our basketball," said Johnson. "That was a goal, to come out intense and play a complete half and not come out slow like we did."

Newton had three players in double figures with Danyel Forney leading all scorers with 20 followed by Mikola Burks (14) and Emili Russ (10). Pacing the Lady Eagles on the scoreboard was Jjade Cook with 12 points.

Friday's game against M.L. King saw a sweep for the Newton. In the girls game, trailing 16-9, the Lady Rams were able to fight back to close the gap to a three-point margin (23-20) to end the half before scoring 21 points in the third frame to take a 41-34 lead. Forney was once again the leading scorer with 20 points as Newton took the 56-45 win.

A rare triple-double by Shane Henry led the Newton boys past the PrepCounty.com/GACA Class AAAAA No. 7 ranked Lions with a 67-55 win. Henry had 17 points while rebounding 12 balls and blocking 10 shots.

Newton outrebounded the Lions 36 to 30 while outshooting M.L. King 51 percent to 34 percent from the field.

M.L. King tried to make a run to start the second half but Jalen Glover was able to prevent that from happening by hitting three 3-pointers in a row on his way to a 15-point game.

Other major contributors by Newton were Stephen Croone and Justin Thompson.Croone leads the team having taken 20 charges, including two against M.L. King, scoring 13 points while getting five rebounds and having two assist.

With three 3-pointers, Thompson had 11 points with six assists with seven rebounds and two steals.

While Newton won by 12 points, the Rams actually led by more than 20 points twice. Another major component to giving Newton the win is the fact that they only had one turnover in the first half.