Rams dominate championship game to win tournament

COVINGTON — While winning the first tournament of the season and starting 4-0 is important in order to establish a positive outlook for the upcoming season, it was even more to win the Hoops for Hope Cancer Classic for Newton boy’s head coach Rick Rasmussen as the Rams beat Cass 58-36 on their home court in the championship game.

“For me personally this tournament title was for my dad who is battling cancer himself,” Rasmussen said. “He is a real fighter and has been undergoing chemotherapy for a very aggressive prostate cancer. I am very proud of him and the character he has shown.”

The Rams jumped out to a double-digit halftime lead, 33-11, and never looked back. It was a big confidence boost for the Newton boys as they barely got by Paulding County in Friday’s game beating the Patriots 38-36.

“I felt like we shot the ball much more confidently than we did (Friday) and it showed,” Rasmussen said. “It was good to get everyone a chance to contribute. It has been a good first couple of weeks for our team, but we have a long way to go and a tough region to contend with. Overall I am pleased with where we are.”

Coming off a 17-point game, Newton freshman Darvin Jones continued to impress and raise eyebrows as the Rams’ scoring leader with 13 points. Also helping the Rams get the win were Jalen Glover with 10 points, D.J. Hill with nine and Caylen Gooch with eight.

“It is always good to win a tournament, too. It was…a Coaches vs. Cancer event,” Rasmussen said. “Our team is getting better and starting to identify their roles more effectively. We want to play to our strengths and get better at our weaknesses. It was good for us to get two wins away from home. We are hoping this will prepare us for the road games we have coming up.”

The Rams will be back on the hard floor on Tuesday against Region 2-AAAAAA opponent Lovejoy.