Friday, December 31, 2010
© Copyright 2013
COMMERCE -- Tournament MVP Derrick Henry scored 18 points Thursday to lead the Newton boys to a 54-50 victory over Cedar Shoals in the Windslinger Holiday Tournament championship game at East Jackson High School.
The Rams (8-2) built a 33-21 halftime lead and owned a 42-35 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter.
"We had a 15-point lead in the third quarter, but it was only 15 to 20 minutes north of Athens, so Cedar Shoals had one whole side full. Their girls won the title, so there was a big, big crowd for them," Newton coach Rick Rasmussen said. "But we pulled it out; we hung on and got the championship. It was a great test for us. They had not lost in December.
"One thing we struggled with was making free throws. For whatever reason, we didn't shoot free throws well in that gym. I don't know whether it was tight rims or maybe just vacation and less practice. We would have won all three of our games by larger margins, although were 6-for-8 with the game on the line in fourth quarter of the championship game."
Senior Willie Smith added 15 points for the Rams, while senior point guard Alex Ordu chipped in 12.
"We really got some good improvement from center Shane Henry, who is a junior," Rasmussen said. "He had several key blocks, took a charge and had four points against Cedar. He's really coming on."
Newton returns to action Tuesday night at Heritage.