Lady Tigers hang on for overtime win


Despite beating rival Newton County by seven points in their own gym, Newton girls coach Perry Fletcher knew his Lady Tigers were in for a fight against the Lady Cougars.

He was right.

Newton needed overtime as they took a 42-36 win over Newton County on Saturday night to sweep the season series from the Lady Tigers.

Newton County led for most of the contest but fell in the overtime contest. County led 8-7 at the end of the first and then outscored Newton 13-5 in the second period to lead 21-12 at the half. Newton started to cut into the Newton County lead in the third as they outscored the Lady Cougars 9-5 in the fourth to trail 26-21 heading into the fourth.

“Newton County-Newton is always a good rivalry game,” Newton coach Perry Fletcher said. “Newton County’s coach does a great job and always has his kids ready. They run that zone to perfection. Our kids are kind of young and we struggled with that but I’m just proud that we played hard until the end.

In the fourth, Newton outscored Newton County 9-2 to start the period to take a 30-28 lead with 4:53 left in the fourth. But County took a 34-30 lead with 2:28 left to play but Newton scored the last four minutes to send the game into overtime.

“It was a game we could have won,” Newton County coach Cory Cleveland said. “Looking back at the games we have played, you have to find some positives. Defensively, we looked a lot better than we have the last couple of games. I thought the effort was there. We just have to find ways to finish. I think we tried hard and played hard, we just didn’t finish.”

In the overtime period, Newton outscored Newton 8-2 as McKinley Ware scored six straight, including a 3-pointer with 2:24 left to play to put the game away.

“The guard from County, she’s their spark plug and when he had to sit her at the start of overtime, I knew she was kind of winded,” Fletcher said. “We stayed in our man and put some pressure on them and were able to get some turnovers and make some shots.”

Newton’s girls improved to 12-3 on the year while the Lady Cougars fell to 4-9 overall.

Myja McNichols led Newton with 16 points while Ware had eight points.

Shantasia John led Newton County with 15 points.

Forest girls 78, Newton County 44

The Lady Bearcats jumped out to a big lead in the first period and never looked back as they took a 34-point win over the Lady Cougars on Friday night.

Forest jumped out to a 23-4 lead in the first period and led 43-18 at the half. After each team scored 17 points in the third period, Forest finished off the contest by outscoring County 18-9 in the fourth.

Sharandon Isom led Newton County with 12 points while Keasja Wansley had nine points. Shantasia John had seven points and Chelsea Giles added six points.

Leake County girls 43, Newton 42

Newton led for most of the game but Leake County mounted a late comeback to take a one-point victory on Friday night.

Newton led 10-7 at the end of the first but was tied 22-22 at the half. Newton pulled back in front again in the third period as they outscored Leake County 15-10 to take a 37-32 advantage into the fourth. Nia McAlphia led Newton with 15 points while Ja’Leah Hickmon added 14 points.