Tigers enter district tourney as No. 2 seed


The Newton Tigers should be more than battle tested as they head to the Division 4-2A Tournament this week.

After an easy 61-23 win over Lake, the Tigers needed overtime to beat Scott Central 60-56 and had to pull away in the fourth period to beat rival Union 53-43 on Friday night.

Newton improves to 18-7 overall and 6-2 in Division 4-2A play and finishes as the No. 2 seed and will face Union again on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in the 4-2A Tournament at Union. The Yellowjackets beat Newton 57-54 on Jan. 19 at Union.

Newton 53, Union 43

Newton used three offensive rebounds to fuel a 10-0 run in the fourth period to propel the Tigers to a 10-point win over rival Newton on Friday night.

“I think we are getting to gel and playing more as a team,” Newton coach Darin Gray said. “I think we have a special bunch. I think it will be another dog fight, I really do. It could have went either way. Our kids hit the glass pretty hard. We talk to the kids all the time about working hard and when you do that, good things happen. I think that’s one of the things that happened tonight, we did the little things and got some bounces.”

Union, which would have been the No. 1 seed if they had won, finishes the regular season with a 14-12 record and 5-3 mark in 4-2A play.

The game was back and forth for the first three periods as Union led 10-7 at the end of the first and led by as many as seven at 25-18 with 1:05 left in the first half. But two straight baskets by Newton cut the lead to 25-22 at the half.

The Tigers used that momentum to open the second half on a 10-2 run to lead 32-27 with 2:57 left in the third and 34-31 at the end of the period.

After a quick basket by Casey Morris cut Union’s lead to 34-33, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run that was fueled by three offensive rebounds to give Newton a 44-33 lead with 4:07 left in the game.

From there, Newton maintained its advantage to take the win.

Javarious Moore led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points while Tony Burks and Jamarian Pace each had nine points. Dazemon Page had eight points while Tyler Bedford and Brandon Payne had seven points.

Newton 61, Lake 23

The Tigers had little trouble with the Hornets as they took a 38-point win.

Newton led just 10-5 at the end of the first but outscored the Hornets 19-4 in the second period to lead 29-13 at the half. The Tigers continued to extend that lead in the second half as they outscored the Hornets 21-12 in the third and 11-2 in the fourth.

Brandon Payne led a balanced scoring effort with 16 points while Dazmeon Page had 12 points. Deshun Watts had 10 points while Tyler Bedford added six points.

Danarious Hughes led Lake with eight points.

Newton 60, Scott Cen. 56 (OT)

The Tigers needed overtime to beat the Rebels by four points on Tuesday night.

Scott Central led 13-11 at the end of the first but Newton tied the score at 29-29 at the half. Newton used a 9-7 advantage in the third to lead 38-36 going into the fourth. Scott Central sent the game to overtime where the Tigers used a 12-8 advantage to take the win.

Brandon Payne went off for a season-high 34 points as he drained eight 3-pointers. Javarious Moore had eight points while Jamarion Pace had seven and Dazmeon Page added six points.