For some teams, the week off because of snow was a curse. For the Newton Tigers, it was a blessing.
The Tigers won their third game in five days, as they took a 66-64 overtime win over St. Patrick on Saturday night.
Earlier in the week, Newton beat Enterprise-Lincoln 79-37 on Tuesday and Heidelberg 83-46 on Thursday.
Newton, now 14-4 on the season, has won 12 games in a row since opening division play with a loss to Philadelphia in early January.
“I thought our guys grew up tonight,” Newton coach Crandal Porter said. “St. Patrick was the real deal. They were the best team we have played this year. They were really good. They have a kid that Ole Miss has offered, and they play hard. We pressured them as well as we have pressured anybody this year, and they didn’t break. I have talked all year about what we couldn’t do, but this group of young men showed they were pretty good tonight.”
Newton advances to the Class 2A Final Four at the Mississippi Coliseum, also known as The Big House where they will take on Calhoun City on Tuesday in a 1:30 p.m. contest.
“I don’t know a lot about them, but at this time of year, you just have to load up and go play,” Porter said. “I think the short turnaround is good for us. We have two groups of starters and what we do is hard to prepare for. I think the storm benefited us, especially this week.”
Newton 66, St. Patrick 64 (OT)
The Tigers needed an overtime period but eventually pulled away and took a two-point win over St. Patrick.
Newton led 14-10 at the end of the first before St. Patrick outscored the Tigers 20-11 in the second to lead 30-25 at the half. In a tight third period, the Tigers used a 13-6 advantage to take a 38-36 lead into the fourth. But St. Patrick outscored Newton 22-20 in the fourth to send the game into overtime. In the overtime period, Newton took the lead and got a basket from Kezarrian Wash with 3.4 seconds left to play to take the lead. Wash then stole the inbounds pass as Newton held on for the win.
“I thought that was one of Kezarrian’s better games,” Porter said. “He had a good one when we needed one. He guarded their best guy and that dude was a load. He did as good as you can do on that guy.”
Wash led Newton with 16 points while Jabez Blaylock had 11 points. Rayvion Nettles had 10 points while Tyreke Snow had seven points. Jalen Barton and Justin Thompson each scored six points apiece.
Newton 83, Heidelberg 46
The Tigers scored 56 points in the middle two periods and cruised to a 37-point win over the Oilers on Thursday night.
Newton led 9-4 at the end of the first and then outscored Heidelberg 27-20 in the second to lead 36-24 at the half. Newton put the game away in the third, outscoring Heidelberg 29-12 to take a 65-36 lead into the fourth. Newton took the fourth period 18-10 for the final margin.
Rayvion Nettles led Newton with 19 points while Jabez Blaylock had 15 points. Kezarrian Wash had 14 points while Darrius Thames had 11 points and Justin Thompson chipped in eight.
Newton 79, Enterprise-Lincoln 37
The Tigers dominated the first three periods and cruised to a 42-point win over the Yellowjackets.
Newton jumped out to an 18-8 lead in the first and outscored Enterprise 27-13 in the second to lead 45-21 at the half. The Tigers then put the game away in the third, outscoring the Yellowjackets 23-3 to lead 68-24 going to the fourth.
Newton used a balanced scoring attack in the contest as Jazez Blaylock led the Tigers with 12 points. Ravion Nettled had 11 points while Justin Thompson had 10 points. Darrius Thames had nine points while Tyreke Snow had eight, Kezarrian Wash seven and Melvin Smith chipped in six.