Newton takes two from West
By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
COLLINSVILLE The West Lauderdale Knights and Newton Tigers locked horns here Tuesday night, and those in attendance witnessed a gem.
West Lauderdale's Calvin Moore, who poured in a game-high 36 points, heaved a potential game-winning 40-footer at the buzzer that drew the back iron and resulted in overtime.
The nip-and-tuck affair that characterized the regulation portion of the contest was nowhere to be found in the extra session, as the Tigers (3-1) jumped all over a fatigued West squad, who couldn't hit shots when it mattered in the 73-66 loss.
NHS outscored the hosts 10-3 in the extra frame to grab the victory.
McGowan definitely was onto something, as Qualls pumped in 23 points and Pruitt added 16.
The Knights enjoyed a slim 21-18 lead after a Moore putback with five minutes to go before the half.
But Newton responded with a 13-2 run to close a first half that was characterized by steals, fast breaks and a nifty three-point play that Qualls completed to spark the outburst.
West, which fell to 2-6, came back strong in the second half with a pair of three-pointers from Boo Ramsey, who tallied 11, to pull West into a 33-all tie.
From there, it remained back and forth until the 2:03 mark of the third period when Newton's Charles Dukes nailed a three-pointer to break another tie. After Moore took over by scoring the next three baskets, West entered the fourth with a 47-44 lead.
In the final minutes, Tiger Bobby Lindsey, who added 17, took it to the hole to push the NHS lead to 60-56. Moments later, West's Karlos Lewis, who hit for seven, drained a three-pointer to inch the Knights to within 63-62 at the 1:50 mark. Neither team could score in the frantic closing moments and Moore hit one of two free throws to set up the final sequence.
Newton girls 54, West Lauderdale 49: Jody Hurst's Lady Knights squad encountered a shooting funk of major proportions in the final 20 minutes of the game and the Lady Tigers capitalized by getting the win.
Newton also got torrid shooting from sophomore sensation Creoshia Williams who got hot from the outside and finished with a game-high 24 points, including a key run in the third.
Leading 25-24 at the break, Williams hit four baskets to help the 3-2 Lady Tigers build a 12-point lead.
But West came back in the final period and cut the margin to four at 42-38 with just under five minutes to go. Newton responded with a gradual 8-3 run and the Lady Tigers swapped baskets down the stretch.
The game may have been won in the middle two quarters, where Newton outscored West 29-16. Latonya Jordan and Lenore Gray each chipped in with eight to help the Lady Tigers.
J.J. Huggins and Kristina Gardner paced West, now 6-3, with 16 and 14 respectively. Julie McCrory added 11. The Lady Knights also hurt their chances with a 15-of-29 free throw effort.
Newton and West each compete in the East Central Community College Invitational Tournament, with Newton taking on Lake and the Knights and Lady Knights taking on Edinburg and Carthage, respectively.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.