High School Basketball
Cougars roll past Vikings in battle of county foes
by Doug Gorman
It might not have been a region game, but the Newnan Cougars had last night’s contest with county rival Northgate may have been circled on the calendar since the beginning of the season.
Apparently so did local basketball fans as a both sides of the gym were filled for the Tuesday night contest.
In the end, it was a dominating performance for Newnan as it built a 29-9 lead at the end of the first half and never looked back en route to a 72-32 win.
“There was a lot of energy in the building,” said Newnan head coach Rod Ladd. “I don’t remember this type of a crowd for a Tuesday night game in a long time.”
Northgate kept the game close for about two minutes. Daquan Ramey’s 3-point shot gave the Vikings a 5-2 lead, but the momentum didn’t last long.
Diamond Jones’ 3-pointer with 5:11 left period gave the Cougars the lead for good at 7-5.
Isaiah Houston also answered with a 3-pointer for Newnan to push the lead to 12-5.
Just seconds later, Cougar senior Immanuel Griggs delivered a dunk to push the lead to double digits for good at 14-5.
Newnan senior guard Doniel Dean took over the first period for the Cougars scoring all 12 of his points in the first eight minutes of the game.
Jones led the way for the Cougars finishing with 21 points. The Newnan guard added five 3-pointers to go along with his offensive numbers.
Griggs had two dunks early in the game and finished with 14 points.
In addition to getting its fast-break offense in high gear to create easy transition baskets, Newnan also played stellar defense, pushing the lead to 44-16 at the end of the first half.
Northgate, which was coming off a thrilling last-second victory over Forest Park on an inbounds pass from Wendell Watson to Ramey last Friday, managed to hit just nine shots from the field.
Ramey led the Vikings with eight points, hitting two 3-pointers.
The Vikings’ Jacob Robinson added 7, including a 3-pointer.
Newnan’s offense continued to click in the second half.
Quick baskets from Griggs and Jones helped push the lead to over 30.
COUGARS 72, VIKINGS 32
NEWNAN 29 15 22 6—66
NORTHGATE 7 9 11 5—27
NORTHGATE—Ramey 8, Watson 2, Evans 7, Wade 4, Upshaw 2, Robinson 7, Rutherford 2
Newnan—Johnson 2, White 6, Grant 4, Griggs 14, Jones 21, Kneidel 2, Houston 9, Dean 12, Turner 2