Newton ousts St. Andrew's
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Feb. 21, 2001
NEWTON n Newton coach Ed McGowan was deeply concerned how his talented Tiger team would match up against a very patient St. Andrew's squad in the first round of the Class 2A South State Tournament Tuesday night.
Newton's talent eventually took its toll as the Tigers posted a 64-42 win to advance to a 2A South State Final Four game with North Forrest Friday night at Hinds AHS. North Forrest got past Ackerman 42-39 in another quarterfinal game on Tuesday.
Completing the 2A South State Final Four field are 32-1 South Leake, a 79-67 winner over Sumrall, and 27-6 Hinds AHS, an 80-66 winner over Bay Springs.
Fans of college basketball might compare the offense the Saints ran to that of Princeton, which has pulled many a first-round upset in the NCAA Tournament by taking care of the ball and taking time off the clock.
The Saints led 5-1 on a three-point play by Kevin Molphurs with 6:26 to go in the first quarter. Their deliberate tempo forced Newton into some early turnovers.
St. Andrew's cooled slightly to 72 percent from the free-throw line against Newton, making 18-of-25 attempts.
But Newton did enough damage from the floor to negate the Saints' charity shooting.
With Ladarrian Blaylock's two 3-point bombs leading the way, Newton went on a 10-0 run as the Saints didn't score again until Nick Payne knocked down a pair of free throws with 34.6 seconds left in the opening period. By then, the Tigers were up 11-7.
The Tigers led 13-7 after one quarter.
Newton took a 10-point lead late in the second quarter and upped its advantage to 28-15 at halftime when Zack Logan hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
Newton kept adding to its lead in the second half.
The Tigers got a basket from senior Mario Qualls with 6:57 showing in the third quarter to double the Saints at 30-15.
Newton was leading 37-24 when Tiger senior Lance Pruitt picked up his fourth foul. Throw in the fact that Qualls had three fouls in the first half and the potential for disaster was there.
But another 3-pointer from Logan and a layin by Terrell Edwards gave Newton a 42-24 advantage with 2:31 left in the third period.
Not even a fourth foul on Bobby Lindsey with 21 seconds left in the third period would hinder the Tigers.
Newton led by as much as 24 points before finishing the night's work.
Qualls led the Tigers with 23 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter. Blaylock scored nine, all coming on 3-pointers. Lindsey added eight, Edwards tossed in seven, and Logan and Pruitt both added six.
Newton was 11-of-25 at the charity stripe after missing 10 freebies in the first half.
St. Andrew's, 16-11, got 15 points from Payne and 13 from Molphurs.