Newton off to fast startBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
It was a clean sweep for Newton last week as they took two games from Class 4A Quitman in their only action last week.
The Lady Tigers continued their strong early play as they beat the Lady Panthers 57-45 while the Tigers took a 52-46 win.
Newton’s only scheduled action this week is a Thursday trip to Jackson to play the Jim Hill girls at 4 p.m. The game will be played at Forest Hill.
Newton girls 57, Quitman 45
The Lady Tigers built a big first-half lead and held on to take the 12-point win.
Newton jumped out early as they outscored Quitman 21-7 in the first period and 18-11 in the second to take a 39-18 lead at the half. Quitman chipped away at the lead in the second half as they outscored Newton 14-9 in the third and 13-9 in the fourth.
Nia McCalphia led Newton with 27 points while Jaleah Hickman had nine points and Myja McNichols added eight points.
“We have a real young and talented group and are learning each other,” girls coach Perry Fletcher said. “I think we are going to be real competitive and I think we are headed in the right direction. We are a small group and don’t have a lot of depth. they just have to trust each other and buy into what we are trying to do.”
Fletcher said the goal at Newton is always the same.
“I thought the coach from last year had them going in the right direction,” Perry Fletcher said. “We just need to build on that. 2A is going to be one of the toughest classes in the state. New Site dropped down, then you have Ingomar, Coahoma County and Calhoun City and all of those schools had 27-30 wins. They made it to the first round last year. We are looking to build on that and have an opportunity to get back to Jackson, where Newton is used to getting to in their program.”
Newton boys 52, Quitman 46
Newton overcame a halftime deficit to take a six-point win against the 4A Panthers.
Newton led 9-8 at the end of the first period but Quitman took the lead into the half by outscoring the Tigers 15-11 in the second for a 23-20 lead. But the Tigers got in gear in the third period as they outscored the Panthers 20-10 to take a 40-33 lead into the fourth period.
Brandon Payne led the Tigers with 18 points while Dazmeon Page added 10 points.
“We are going to basically have my whole team coming back and I’m excited about that,” Newton coach Darrin Gray said. “The strong point of this team is our guards. We have good guards who have played a lot of basketball. I think we will be able to play that five out because all of the kids can handle the ball well.”
Gray said part of the slow start last year was the pre-division schedule, which doesn’t change much this year.
“Every year, we try to make our schedule tough,” Gray said. “We try to get the schedule loaded up before we begin district play. It was tough on us last year but helped us once we got to playing district games.”
Newton girls 48, Callaway 21
The Lady Tigers used a big second half to pull away from Callaway and take a win over the Class 5A Lady Chargers.
After being tied 3-3 at the end of the first, Newton outscored Callaway 9-5 in the second and led 12-8 at the half. But Newton outscored Callaway 22-10 in the third and 14-3 in the fourth to pull away for the season-opening victory.
Myja McNichols led Newton with 21 points while Nia McCalphia added 17 points for the Lady Tigers.
Newton boys 59, Northeast Jones 50
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead and held on to grab their first win of the season on Saturday at Jones JC.
Newton led 14-7 at the end of the first and 31-19 at the half. After each team scored 15 points in the third period, Northeast outscored Newton 16-13 in the fourth for the final margin.
Brandon Payne led a group of balanced scorers with 17 points while Jamarion Pace had 13 points. Dazmeon Page had 12 points and Tyler Bedford added 10 points.