Tigers get ‘wake-up call’ from Choctaw


The Newton Tigers have raced off to a fast start to the basketball season.

But the Tigers hit an unexpected speed bump last week, falling 62-42 to Choctaw Central in the first round of the East Central Community College Tournament.

The Tigers did bounce back by beating Morton 67-60 in a consolation game.

While not happy with the results, Newton coach Darrin Gray saw it coming and hopes the Tigers learn a lesson from it.

“We came out kind of sluggish,” Gray said. “We fought back in the second quarter to make it close but then they ran away with it in the second half. We were just sluggish. I think the kids kind of took Choctaw Central for granted. We were sluggish and Choctaw did what they needed to do. It was a wake-up call for us. We have had some pretty good practices since then. I was telling them, we have been walking around in practice and not going as hard and that carried over to the game. And that’s what happens when you practice like that.”

Newton travelled to Enterprise-Lincoln on Tuesday, will play at Heidelberg on Friday and will finish up the week by hosting Forest.

Choctaw Cen. 62, Newton 42

The Warriors used a suffocating defense to knock off Newton in the opening round of the ECCC Tournament on Nov. 28.

Choctaw jumped out to a 14-5 lead after the first period and led 22-18 at the half. But that was as close as Newton got as they outscored the Tigers 17-9 in the third and 23-15 in the fourth.

Brandon Payne led the Tigers with 12 points while Javarious Moore had 11 and Tony Burkes added 11.

Newton 67, Morton 60

After dropping their first game to Morton, Newton jumped on Morton quick and took a seven-point win against the Panthers.

Newton led 16-7 at the end of the first period and 30-26 at the half. But the Tigers pulled away in the third as they outscored the Panthers 23-18 to take a 53-44 lead into the fourth period.

Brandon Payne had a big game as he pumped in 31 points. Jamarian Pace had 10 points while Tony Burkes added nine. Javarious Moore had eight points and Dazmeon Page chipped in six points.