OT loss ruins perfect weekBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
For the first time this season, the Lady Cougars of Newton County improved their record above the .500 mark.
The Lady Cougars improved to 5-1 in Division 5-4A play and 10-9 overall as they won two of three contests this week.
The Lady Cougars started the week with a 55-46 win over Northeast Lauderdale before dropping a 76-71 overtime game to Northeast Jones on Jan. 23. The Lady Cougars finished the week with a 61-34 win over Mendenhall on Friday.
“I think the girls have finally caught on to what we are trying to do,” Newton County coach Cory Cleveland said. “I think a lot of it has to do with confidence level. We lost some games early that we probably should have won. Once we started division play, we beat Mendenhall and then beat West Lauderdale, and that was a huge confidence builder.”
Newton County will have two more big division games this week as they host rival West Lauderdale on Tuesday and travel to Northeast Lauderdale on Friday.
County 55, NE Lauderdale 46
Northeast took the lead in the third period as they outscored Newton County 18-12 for a 35-32 lead heading into the fourth. The Lady Cougars then started to pull away, outscoring Northeast 23-11 in the fourth for the win.
“At the point we played Northeast Lauderdale, we were both undefeated in the division,” Cleveland said. “We are playing with a lot of confidence right now and were able to give them their first loss.”
Sharandon Isom led Newton County with 18 points while Tiffany Wilson had 15 points. Chelsea Giles and Shantasia John each had 10 points apiece.
NE Jones 76, County 71 (OT)
In a back-and-forth contest, Northeast Jones was able to force a couple of turnovers in overtime to take a five-point win over Newton County on Jan. 23.
“I thought we played hard but Northeast shot the ball extremely well,” Cleveland said. “According to one of their assistant coaches, that was their best offensive game all season long. I think we just kind of ran out of gas. We kind of got beat up on Monday night and then had to follow that with another hard game on Tuesday night. I think we just ran out of gas.”
Tiffany Wilson had a huge night as she had 27 points and 23 rebounds. Chelsea Giles also had 10 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double while Sharandon Isom added 13 points.
County 61, Mendenhall 34
The Lady Cougars beat Mendenhall for the second time this season with a 27-point win on Friday night.
The Lady Cougars jumped out to a 14-2 lead at the end of the first and led 35-9 at the half. County extended its lead in the third, outscoring County 18-14 in the third to lead 53-23 heading into the fourth.
Chelsea Giles led Newton County with 16 points while Shantasia John had 12 points and Sharasndon Isom added nine points.