Newton falls short in holiday tournament semis

The Newton boys basketball team came up just short in the Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament. Will Jackson had 20 points as Athens Christian nipped Newton 56-53 in the semifinals. Newton will play for third place against the loser of Saturday’s late game between Archer and host Walnut Grove Monday at 5p.m.

Jackson, a Division 1 prospect, was playing in just his second game of the season after recovering from a knee injury.

“We did a pretty good job on him to be honest,” Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. “(But) obviously he’s a difference maker.”

The Rams trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth, but fought back to get within 54-53. After a pair of Athens Christian free throws, Jalen Glover missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.

D.J. Hill had 16 points and Glover added 11 for Newton.

“We fought hard,” Rasmussen said.

Newton rolled past Monroe Area in the first game of the tournament, winning 62-33 Friday morning.

Glover poured in a career-high 27 points, while Hill handed out seven assists to go along with 12 points. The Rams led 33-11 at halftime and 54-24 through three quarters before the final period was shortened to six minutes.

Heritage fell to Athens Christian 67-55 in the first game of the tournament, but bounced back with a blowout victory against Monroe Area on Saturday.

In the 82-49 win, San Marteen Rozier and Jordan Thomas each had 12 points and Trevor Campbell chipped in with 10 to lead the Patriots.

“The effort was good coming off a loss (Friday),” Heritage coach Vernon Denmark said. “I liked the intensity we had defensively.”