COVINGTON — After losing a close game in the semi-finals of the Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament 56-53 to Athens Christian, the Rams regrouped to beat the home team 73-64 for a third place finish on Monday.
Even though the Rams (10-2 overall, 2-1 Region 2-AAAAAA) led by four points, 30-26, at halftime, the Hawks were not going to give up making shots that seemed above their abilities.
“I told the guys that Walnut Grove would play well because they didn’t want to lose their own tournament,” Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. “They made a lot of terrific shots. They made 3-pointers off and all sorts of crazy shots.”
It was a good things that Newton played a good offensive game making 48 percent of their shots, including seven 3-pointers, as they had a hard time slowing down Walnut Grove.
The 64 points given up by the Rams was the most they had allowed all year with the previous being 60 points by Morrow in overtime.
“We may have played a little bit down because we weren’t in the championship game,” Rasmussen said.
The Rams had three players in double figures with Jalen Glover, who was named to the all-tournament team, paced the team with 23 points including three 3-point shots.
“D.J. Hill was outstanding the entire tournament at point guard. He had 17 points, eight assists, two steals and four rebounds. He’s super quick in transition,” Rasmussen said. “Then my freshman, Darvin Jones, hit four 3s and had 14 points, three assists and three rebounds.”
The 73 points was the most scored by the Rams beating their previous high of 72 scored against Salem.
“It was a good tournament for us and we had hard competition,” Rasmussen said. “We’re good, Athens Christian is good, Archer was in the final and they’re 6-A.”
The Rams will be back on the court on Friday at 5 p.m. in region play against Luella before hitting the road on Saturday to face Salem.