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Newton knocks off Neshoba Central

By By Robbie Robertson and Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 30, 2000
DECATUR With only one loss on the season, the Newton Tigers felt somewhat slighted coming into the Central Mississippi Classic with a No. 7 ranking.
Too bad for Neshoba Central.
Newton came out red hot from the field as they led 20-3 and held on to take a 67-62 victory over Neshoba Central, avenging the Tigers only loss of the season.
Newton improves to 6-1 on the season with the win and will face 8-1 South Leake in a 5:30 semifinal contest.
The Tigers came out and jumped all over a cold-shooting Neshoba squad as Charles Dukes and Mario Qualls each hit three-pointers and Newton led 10-0 early at the 4:40 mark.
Newton's hot shooting continued as Dukes and Qualls both hit another pair of threes and Bob Lindsey's bucket at the 2:47 mark gave the Tigers a 20-3 lead.
Newton maintained its 17-point margin and led 24-7 after the first.
Neshoba got back in the game as the Rockets cut the lead to eight with an 11-2 run that was capped off by a Tawon Walker three-pointer with 3:53 left in the half.
Newton held that eight-point margin and led 31-23 at the half.
The Tigers continued its hot shooting to begin the second and opened the lead back to 15 points on a Duke's three-pointer at the 6:01 mark.
Then Neshoba put together its best run of the night as they outscored Newton 16-4 to cut the lead to 45-42 on Walker's three-pointer with 52 seconds left in the third.
In the fourth, Qualls brought the crowd to its feet twice with slam dunks, the second coming at the 4:04 mark that gave Newton a 55-49 lead.
Newton maintained its slim lead throughout the final frame but Neshoba used an intense defense and Walker cut the lead to 63-60 at with 43 seconds left in the contest. After Qualls missed two free throws, Landon Byars hit a shot on the three-point line to cut the lead to one at 63-62.
But Qualls hit four straight free throws to seal the win for Newton in a contest in which they never trailed.
Walker led all scorers with 23 points as he hit five three-pointers. Desmond Jones chipped in 11 points while Calvin Parker had nine. Tavares Walker and Byars added eight apiece for Neshoba.
Qualls and Dukes each had 20 for Newton while Lindsey added 15.
South Leake 66, Philadelphia 60: In a battle of division rivals, South Leake used a big second half to down Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, which fell to 3-4 on the season, played well early and led 30-22 at the half.
But South Leake, which improved to 8-1, outscored Philly 19-10 in the third quarter to take a 41-40 lead into the fourth. Then the Wildcats outscored Philly 25-20 in the fourth to take the win and advance to the semifinals.
Four Wildcats scored in double figures as Kalus Johnson and Jamal Brown each had 16 points. Lekendrick Fortune had 13 points while Adrian Kelly chipped in 10.
Philly was led by Keith Houston's 13 points while Hunter Holley added 12. Tony Riley and Rashaun Hill each had nine points while Tellas Burnside had eight.
Newton County boys 58, West Lauderdale 48: West held a 10-point advantage in the third quarter only to have the Cougars rally for the win, thanks to a 19-5 fourth-quarter differential.
West, 3-7, led 15-11 after one quarter and held a 30-22 advantage at halftime. Newton County closed to within 43-39 by the end of the third quarter and went up 45-43 with 6:48 to play. A putback by Chris Wansley gave the Cougars a 53-46 lead with 2:02 left and the Knights never got closer than six points again.
Al Willis led Johnny Slaughter's Cougars, who improved to 6-1, with 19 points. Tony Smith scored 17 and Delvioun Merrell had 11 in his first action of the season following the Cougars' football playoff run.
The Knights were led by Calvin Moore's 20 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Boo Ramsey tossed in 15 and Van Wilson scored nine.
Forest boys 47, Carthage 37: Carthage owned the first quarter by a 15-10 margin, but the rest of the night belonged to Forest. Steve Harber's Bearcats took a 23-20 lead into halftime and were up 34-28 to start the fourth.
Forest, which had lost to Carthage on Nov. 14, got 11 points from Paul Brown, nine each from Michael Hayes and Charles Rhodes and six points from Maurice Longmire.
Carthage, 4-5, got 13 points from Anthony Ashwood and eight each from Raymond Youngblood and Wallace Alexander.