Tigers heat up on hardwoods

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

The Newton Tigers picked up three more wins on the hardwood this past week.

The Tigers had to come from behind to beat Lake 51-47 on Tuesday and then took a 47-40 win over Philadelphia on Friday night.

The Tigers then avenged a 20-point loss to Choctaw Central by beating the Warriors 52-38 on Saturday.

The Tigers improve to 13-5 on the season and 2-0 in Division 4-2A play. Newton was scheduled to take on Laurel at Jefferson Davis County on Monday before traveling to Union on Friday. The Tigers will then get a huge test on Saturday as they will take on Class 6A Meridian at Bay Springs at 2:30 p.m.

Newton boys 47, Philadelphia 40

The Tigers broke open a tie game in the fourth period to take the win over the visiting Tornadoes.

“This is a big win in district,” Newton coach Darin Gray said. “Philadelphia is one of the better teams in the district so it’s huge to get a win against them at this point season. They are just so big and long.”

The game was back and forth the first three periods. After each team scored 10 points in the first period, Philadelphia took a 20-18 lead at the half as Jarron Boler nailed a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the half.

Newton tied the game in the third period as they outscored the Tornadoes 10-8 in the period to send the game into the fourth tied at 28-28.

The Tigers then took control of the game as Tony Burks and Jamarian Pace hit back-to-back 3-pointers to fuel a 15-2 run that was capped off by a Brandon Payne 3-pointer with 3:42 left to play to give Newton a 43-30 lead.

“I think the difference in the game was we picked it up on defense in the fourth,” Gray said. “We changed our defense and started to pressure them and it kind of bothered them. And we hit a couple of big shots and finally got some of those to fall.”

Pace led Newton with 14 points while Payne added 13 points and Javarious Moore added seven points. Boler led Newton with 24 points while Stetson Moore scored 12.

Newton boys 52, Choctaw Central 38

The last time Newton and Choctaw Central met, the Warriors put a 20-point whipping on the Tigers.

But Newton got its revenge on Saturday as the Tigers hit 10 3-pointers to take a 14-point win over the Warriors.

Choctaw led just once in the game at 3-2 but Newton took control of the game with an early 9-0 run and led 11-6 at the end of the first and 19-18 at the half.

Newton started to warm up from long range in the second half, hitting four straight threes to open the third and led 33-28 at the end of the third.

The Tigers extended the lead in the fourth with four more 3-pointers to take the win.

Brandon Payne led Newton (14-5) with 14 points and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player while Javarious Moore had 13 points.

Newton 51, Lake 47

The Hornets jumped out to an early lead but couldn’t hold on in the second half as Newton took a four-point win.

Lake led 12-4 at the end of the first period and 23-16 at the half.

But Newton started to mount a comeback in the second half as they outscored Lake 14-9 in the third to cut the lead to 32-30 going into the fourth. In the final period, Newton outscored Lake 21-15 to take the win.

Javarious Moore led Newton with 17 points while Deshun Watts had 11 points and Brandon Payne added 10.

Mark Qualls led a balanced scoring attack for Lake with 11 points while Desmond Harris, Danarius Hughes and Zywon Ledbetter each had 10 points apiece.