Published Saturday, January 26, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
Newnan head coach Rod Ladd seldom raises his voice.
That changed Friday night once he got his Cougars basketball squad to the locker room and delivered a stern and loud wake up call.
It was the pep talk his team needed.
Trailing 31-17 at the half, Newnan came out of the locker room after the break on a mission, taking over the game en route to a stellar 62-51 comeback.
“I shouldn’t have to do that, but I have to admit I was upset at the half,” Ladd said. “We didn’t play well at all in the first half.”
The Cougars looked like a totally different team in the final two quarters.
Newnan used a 19-3 run in the third period and led 36-34 heading into the final stanza.
“We did a great job of responding once we came out in the second half,” Ladd said.
With the victory, Newnan improved its record to 12-8 overall and 3-3 in Region 3-AAAAAA play. Tri-Cities dropped to 8-9 and 2-3.
(To view photos from this game, visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)
Newnan looked like it didn’t want to be playing in the first half. With center Immanuel Griggs sitting out the first quarter, Tri-Cities exploited the Cougars defense early building an 11-0 lead and pushing it to 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cougars whittled their way back in the game with a dominating third quarter. An early dunk by Griggs and a 3-pointer from Darrell Morrow ignited Newnan’s second-half offense.
However it was the play of 6-6 freshman center Jannson Williams who helped Newnan seize the momentum.
Taking over inside, Williams scored eight points in the third quarter. After catching the ball in the paint late in the period, Williams turned and put the ball in off the glass tying it at 34-34.
“We have been waiting for him to have some sort of break-out game,” Ladd said. “He got a concussion in a jayvee game earlier this year and that set him back a little bit, but he stepped it up tonight."
Doniel Dean then capped the Cougars’ comeback with the last basket of the third quarter to give Newnan a 36-34 lead.
Newnan stayed out front the rest of the way, but Tri-Cities' Isiah Greer connected on three, 3-point shots in the final period to help keep the game close.
The Cougars spread their scoring wealth in the comeback victory with Griggs and Williams each scoring 12 points. Morrow and Dean added 10.
Greer led the Bulldogs with 12.
Newnan returns to action on Tuesday at Douglas County. Newnan won the first meeting between the two schools 78-68.
SCORING SUMMARY – Newnan 62, Tri-Cities 51
Tri-Cities 21 10 3 17 — 51
Newnan 7 10 19 26 — 62
Tri-Cities (51) – DeAndre Slaughter 6, Tori Jones 2, Chris Clemons 12, Shawantrez Davis 7, Charles Strong 5, Isiah Greer 12, Andre Washington 2
Newnan (62) – Kaceon Person 6, Darrell Morrow 10, James Alexander 6, Immanuel Griggs 12, Tae Parks 6, Doniel Dean 10, Jannson Willams 12.