Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
The Newnan boys basketball team proved it can beat rival East Coweta three times in one season.
A victory on Tuesday night was the biggest of them all as Newnan knocked off East Coweta 57-43 in the first round of the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament on the Indians’ own floor.
With the victory, Newnan secures its reservation to the Class AAAAAA state tournament next week and sets up a semifinal matchup with No. 2 seed Douglas County on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at East Coweta’s John Thrower Gym. A victory against the Tigers would assure the 16-9 Cougars home court advantage for the first round of next week’s state tournament a year after finishing 14-15 overall.
“Your goal is always to get to state,” Newnan head coach Rod Ladd said “This time we want to play that first game at home.”
There was only three days between Newnan’s latest victory and their last win against East Coweta. Last Friday, the Cougars knocked off the Indians 66-57 in overtime.
For a while, Tuesday’s meeting was just as close with the two teams taking turns with the lead in the first half.
Newnan’s Darrell Morrow and Immanuel Griggs each scored 17 points to pace the Cougars. Teammate Doniel Dean added 13.
O’Darius Kendall finished with 12 to lead the Indians, which ended their season at 4-19.
Morrow finished the game with five 3-point shots en route to his offensive performance. Two of his treys came in the third quarter as he helped push Cougars lead to double digits for the first time as they built a 44-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars held the Indians to just 11 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
David Swanson hit a trey for the Indians early in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.
Griggs took over in the fourth quarter for the Cougars, scoring five points and helping to put the game out of reach.
Newnan pulled away in second quarter to take a 31-22 lead at the half.
After the two teams battled through a 14-14 tie at the end of the first quarter, Newnan used a 8-0 run in the second quarter to grab the momentum.
The Cougars’ second-quarter spurt came early in the period after East Coweta took the lead on Rodney Craig’s basket to give the Indians a 16-14 lead.
Morrow had the outside shooting touch for the Cougars hitting three 3-point shots in the first half.
Immanuel Griggs also enjoyed a solid first half, scoring 11 points.
Griggs scored the last two baskets of the first half, one on a massive dunk and the other on a soft jumper along the baseline to close out the scoring.
Kendall connected on a 3-point shot for the Indians in the first half and Shania Knight’s dunk in the second quarter helped keep the Indians in the game.
SCORING SUMMARY – Newnan 57, East Coweta 43
Newnan 14 17 13 13 — 57
East Coweta 14 8 10 11 — 43
Newnan 57 (16-9) – Kaceon Person 6, Darrell Morrow 17, Immanuel Griggs 17, Diamond Jones 2, Doniel Dean 13, Janson Williams 2
East Coweta 43 (14-15) – Zhakeer Jervey 4, David Swanson 3, Jacob Barnett 2, Shania Knight 6, Rodney Craig 2, O’Darius Kendall 12, Zach Walker 4, Brandon Martin 8, Nikkel Head 2