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Quitman rallies to down Newton

By Staff
OUTTA MY WAYn Newton County's April Bufkin drives by two Lanier defenders Thursday in the Newton Invitational Tournament. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Jan. 5, 2001
NEWTON There was a little something for each of the four schools participating in the first round of the Newton Invitational Thursday night.
The Newton County and Newton girls and the Lanier and Quitman boys each recorded wins in the round-robin tournament.
In tonight's games, Newton County faces Quitman in the 4:30 and 5:45 games while Newton hosts Lanier in the 7 and 8:15 matchups.
Quitman boys 70, Newton 61: Quitman outscored Newton 22-11 in the fourth quarter to take the foul-plagued contest that ended at 10:43 p.m. The teams combined for 56 fouls.
Quitman led 29-25 at halftime and went up 42-35 in the third quarter before two free throws from Bobby Lindsey with 21.9 seconds showing tied the game and a layup from Lance Pruitt with six seconds left put Newton up 50-48 to end the third period.
Quitman opened the final quarter with an 11-0 run to pull away.
Renaldo McKenzie scored 20 points and Jason Pearson had 19 to lead the Panthers as they evened their record at 7-7. Pearson hit five 3-pointers.
Marcus McCormick and David Laphand both had nine points.
Newton, 13-5, got 23 points from Mario Qualls, 12 from Lindsey, eight from Pruitt, and seven from Terrell Edwards.
Newton County girls 72, Lanier 44: Tamekia Foley scored 31 points to lead the Lady Cougars as they improved to 15-2.
Newton County led 21-10 after one quarter behind 14 points from Foley and took a 30-20 lead into halftime.
The Lady Cougars outscored Lanier 25-16 in the third quarter to go up 55-36.
Newton County also got 11 points from Yolanda Johnson, eight from Lakelia Bogan, seven from Stephanie Airhart, and five from Kristin Chaney.
Lanier, 3-14, got 20 points from LaShaunda Griffin despite her 0-for-11 showing at the free-throw line. Mary Osborne scored nine and Shameca Williams had eight.
Lanier boys 80, Newton County 38: Lanier scored the first 13 points in defeating the Cougars.
Lanier head coach Thomas Billups (283-52, 10th season), a native of Louisville and a former football player at East Central Junior College, saw his top-ranked Bulldogs improve to 18-2.
Newton County finally got on the scoreboard on a three-point play by Tony Smith with 10.7 seconds left in the first period.
Lanier led 27-18 at halftime.
The Bulldogs broke the game open with a 20-8 advantage in the third quarter as they went up 47-26.
Newton County, 10-4, got 17 points from Al Willis, 10 from Smith, and five from Mylan Anderson.
Lanier had five players in double figures. Derrick Melton, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, hit five 3-pointers to lead the Bulldogs with 21 points, all of which came in the second half.
Dandy Dozen pick Solomon Forbes scored 18, Jonathan Blackmon had 13, Lamonte Purvis had 12, and Johnnie Neal had 10 for the Class 4A defending state runner-up.
Newton girls 61, Quitman 51: After a slow start, the Lady Tigers carried a 34-17 lead into halftime as they improved to 10-9.
The first quarter ended in an 11-11 stalemate.
Quitman trailed 47-32 to start the fourth quarter, but outscored Newton 19-14 over the final eight minutes.
Twila Clayton led Newton with 22 points, including nine in the third quarter. Kotreece Bender finished with 15 after going 15-for-16 at the free-throw line. Creoshia Williams added nine points. Newton went 26-of-38 at the charity stripe.
Quitman, 2-12, got 21 points from freshman Kemonica McGee and eight apiece from Takeisha Bonner and Shaquilla Mack. The Lady Panthers made only two of their 13 free throws.

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