High School Basketball
Cougars knock off Chapel Hill to stay unbeaten
by Doug Gorman
The Newnan boys basketball team won't have to worry about senior leadership thanks to a roster dotted with upperclassmen.
In its final game before next week's Thanksgiving break, the Cougars moved their record to 2-0 with a 78-50 victory over visiting Chapel Hill on Saturday at the Max Bass Athletic Complex.
Newnan's victory came less than 24 hours after defeating Lithia Springs.
Saturday its was senior Doniel Dean's turn to step up. The Cougars' guard finished the game with 29 points to lead all scorers.
Dean helped push the tempo against Chapel Hill creating several easy transition baskets en route to the team's victory.
He finished the game with two 3-point shots, including one behind mid-court as time expired to give the Cougars a 42-24 lead.
'It was a good effort,' Newnan head coach Rod Ladd said. 'Our seniors have put a lot of time in, so I am really pleased with the effort' Newnan's turned a close game early in the second quarter into a rout.
Isiah Houston's baskets early in the second quarter gave the Cougars a 19-15 lead.
Chapel Hill cut the lead to two points on its next trip down the floor, but that was as close as the Panthers came.
Newnan pulled away spreading the offensive wealth between five players en route to a 23-7 run to close out the second quarter.
The Cougars put distance between themselves and the Panthers scoring from both the inside and outside.
In addition to Dean's trey to close out the first half, Diamond Jones and Jannson Williams also drained 3-point jumpers to push Newnan's lead to double digits at the break.
In addition to Dean's double-digit performance, Jones connected on two 3-point shots and finished with 14 performance.
Terrance Hughes led Chapel Hill with 13 points. Brandon Peterson added 10.
Newnan built a 17-14 lead as Dean started his impressive performance by drawing fouls and hitting 6 of 6 from the free throw line.
Chapel Hill led early in the first period on a basket by Peterson to go up 11-8, but the Panthers' 3-point lead was as big as it would get. Newnan regrouped with a 9-3 run.
Newnan defense also took over in the second quarter limiting the Panthers to just three field goals over an eight-minute stretch.
One of Jones' 3-pointers in the second quarter pushed the Cougars out to 29-19 and the lead stayed at double digits the rest of the night.
'We just want to keep on getting better because our region is really strong,' Ladd said. 'We are going to keep on grinding and improving every time we take the court.'
Ladd can already see his team improving on the defensive end of the court in its two games.
'I thought we gave up too many points in transition against Lithia Springs, but we did a much better job this time,' Ladd said. 'My main point going after Friday was we can play a whole lot better on defense, and I think we did that.'