Meridian Star

Sports

February 22, 2014

Newton County boys top NE Lauderdale

LAUREL — The Newton County High School boys held on to defeat Northeast Lauderdale 57-41 in a game that was  scheduled to be played Thursday night but were postponed due to tornado warnings in the area.  

“I thought we started well and finished well,” coach Stever Harber said.  “We had some foul trouble early and had to rely on the bench. The second quarter was a struggle offensively and defensively.  

The Cougars took a 20-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Both teams combined for 13 total points in the second quarter. Northeast netted all six of their points from the free throw line. The half ended on the line, where Maurice Clemons hit two of three free throws from a buzzer foul behind the 3-point line. The half ended 27-20 with Newton County still on top.

The Trojans came out strong in the third quarter and added 16 points, 14 of which were scored by Clemons. The Cougars added only 10 points, and the third quarter ended 37-36 with Newton County holding a slim one-point lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars proved to be too much for the Trojans and took a commanding lead, ending the game with the 16 point victory.

“We really played well as a team,” guard Devante Hodge said. “We've played really well as a team all year. Tonight we found our groove and got the job done.”

Said Harber, “Northeast  played a great game. We just toughened up in the last five or six minutes, and that was huge for us. We had some players come in off the bench, and they were key.”

Hodge led the Cougars with 20 points and was a perfect five for five from the free throw line.  Quin Jones and De’Andre Wansley also added 10 each.

The Trojans were led by Clemons with 22 points.  Tre Naylor added 10 points.

Newton County will play Quitman tomorrow night in the finals of the Division 5 tournament. Both teams will have home team advantage in the South State play in game on Tuesday night. Northeast Lauderdale will face Northeast Jones to settle the three and four seeds for District 5.

Forrest County 59, Newton Co. girls 56

Newton County lost by three in a game that was delayed because of a tornado warning Thursday night.

After leading 29-27 at the half and 45-42 at te end of the third, Newton County remained in the lead in the final five minutes, 48-46, before an hour-and-a-half delay because of the tornado. After the game resumed, Forrest County outscored Newton County 13-8 to get the win.

Kaylin McCree scored 16 points for Newton County, while Latesia Davis added 14 points. Newton County will play today in the consolation round.

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