COVINGTON — The Rockdale and Newton boys did what they needed to in order to get wins in the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament on Saturday and advance to Class AAAAAA playoffs.
All 12 players on the Newton boys team contributed to their 72-33 win over Alcovy while the Bulldogs has to overcome a small deficit in to eliminate Morrow 73-67.
As a result of their wins, the Bulldogs will take on No. 1 seed Luella at 8:30 p.m. on while the Newton boys team will take on the winner Saturday’s Lovejoy/Druid Hills game at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
No. 3 Newton-No. 6 Alcovy
The Tigers kept the game close tying the game at 4-4. But the Rams refused to give Alcovy the chance for the upset outscoring the Tigers 31-7 to close the first half with a 35-11 lead.
While the Rams were concerned about the win, they also wanted to sure they got a lot of looks at a lot of different people in a lot of different situations.
“We played everybody but one in the first half and we never had the regular starting crowd out there,” Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. “I thought our starting group did a good job and I thought our bench played well. It was good game. I thought we came out focused and ready to play. We weren’t looking to be upset, we didn’t want any part of that.”
Pacing the Rams with double-digit scoring were Taylor Hawkins with 12 points followed by D.J. Hill with 11 points.
Even though the Tigers never made a real threat on getting the win, Alcovy interim head coach Eric Hollier liked the way his players never gave up.
“All I ask out of them is to play hard, play at 100 percent, and they did that. We just didn’t knock down some shots and they did,” Hollier said. “Hats off to Newton. They’re a very good team.”
No. 4 Morrow-No. 5 Rockdale
The Bulldogs found themselves in a battle against Morrow as the lead changed hands eight times alone in the first half including Rockdale taking the lead in the end of the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Jalen Jordan at the buzzer.
Allowing to a lot of the lead changes was a severe breakdown in Rockdale’s defense.
“In the first half we lost all the 50-50 balls, all the loose balls, the balls bouncing high off the arc, we lost them,” Rockdale head coach Al Williams said. “I told them to keep fighting and in the second half we won that battle.”
The Mustangs took a seven-point lead in the second half before Adam Ellis tied the game at 48 with 1:07 left in the third frame. Jordan, who had a big day for the Bulldogs ending the day with 32 points, extended Rockdale’s lead to three points after a field goal to end the frame with a 51-48 advantage.
“It’s an excellent day,” Williams said of Jordan. “He’s had his ups and downs like most sophomores do. (Saturday) was an up.”
Rockdale lost the lead only to regain it again on the next shot as the Bulldogs held on to the lead for the win with 1:27 left to play.
“Momentum is a beautiful thing,” Williams said. “We were able to throw a couple of different defense’s at them and confuse them a little bit. Our kids just got up and believed that they were going to win.”