Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
If the Newnan Cougars were looking for some kind of of signature win, it might just have come Tuesday night inside the Max Bass Athletic Complex.
Needing a win to keep pace in the Region 3-AAAAAA standings, the Cougars got it thanks to a 78-68 victory over visiting Douglas County.
It was a night when both teams spread the offensive scoring wealth.
Newnan placed four players in double figures as Darrell Morrow tossed in 19 and Doniel Dean 18. Immanuel Griggs scored just two points in the first half, but ended the night with 16 points for the Cougars. Newnan's Kaceon Person also added 10.
"We just really feel like everybody is coming together at the right time," Griggs said.
Justin Bridges finished as the hight scorer for the Tigers, ending the game with a game-high 24 points. Douglas County's Jalen Thornton added 16.
The victory improved the Cougars' record to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in region play.
Newnan, Tri-Cities, Douglas County and Westlake all have 2-1 records in Region 3-AAAAAA.
"We know it is going to be a wide-open region from here on out," Newnan head coach Rod Ladd said. "Everybody knows how good Westlake always is, and Douglas beat Westlake, so we are feeling pretty good about things."
In a game where momentum changed hands throughout the night, Newnan built on a 58-54 lead heading into the last quarter thanks to a perfect 6 for 6 performance at the free throw line in the waning moments of the game.
Thornton's 3-point shot late in the final period cut the Cougars' lead to 66-62, but Newnan outscored the Tigers 12-6 down the stretch.
The Cougars used an offensive explosion in the first quarter to build some momentum. Using five 3-point shots in the first eight minutes of the game, the Cougars jumped out front to a 30-25 lead. Morrow had the hot hand early for the Cougars drilling three treys in the period. His last long-range bomb gave Newan a 19-13 lead. Person and Dean also added 3-point shots in the period.
Newnan's Tae Parks gave the Cougars their first double-digit lead of the contest at 23-13, and his basket later in the quarter helped the push the squad to its largest lead of the night at 30-17.
Douglas County didn't stay down long as Justin Bridges stepped up big, hitting two treys in the first quarter. His play late in the period cut into the Cougars' lead, trimming the margin to 30-25 at the end of the quarter.
"The way Douglas County shoots the basketball, we knew they were going to make a run," Ladd said.
The momentum quickly changed in the second quarter as the Tigers outscored the Cougars 20-15 in the quarter to build a 45-43 lead. Three-point shots by Bridges and Chris Wright helped the Tigers grab control of the game and build their two-point lead at the half.
Newnan regained control of the contest in the third quarter as Griggs took over. Thanks to 10 points in the period, including two on massive dunks, Newnan regained the lead at 58-54.
Douglas County 78, Newnan 63 (girls): Newnan senior LaKil Derring left it all on the court Tuesday night in the Lady Cougars' Region 3-AAAAAA game with Douglas County.
Still her 35-point effort wasn't enough as the Cougars fell to their guest at home by 15.
Newnan junior Chaycie Goggins turned in a solid effort from the offensive end, finishing with 14 points.
The Lady Tigers spread their offensive wealth with four of its players finishing in double figures. Maya Benham led Douglas County with 24 points, Amira Atwater added 12, Santasia Faust 11 and Amadi Brooks 10.
It was Douglas County's 12th win in a row. Newnan fell to 1-13 overall and 1-2 in region play. Douglas County improved to 12-2 and 3-0.
For a time it appeared Newnan was primed for an upset taking control of the game in the first quarter and building a small 8-7 lead in the first quarter.
The Lady Cougars' built a six-point lead early in the second quarter behind the play of Caycie Goggins. Her final basket of the quarter gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the night at 19-13.
Santasia Faust connected on three baskets right before the break to give Douglas County a 30-24 lead at the half.
Douglas County put the game out of reach in the third quarter as it built a 60-41 lead.
However Derring was just warming up for the Lady Cougars with a 25-point second half. Derring tried to bring the Lady Cougars back on her own with an explosive fourth quarter that including three 3-point shots and an old fashion three-pointer, but it was not enough.