In the girls’ game, Rome used its defensive pressure to defeat the host Lady Jaguars 55-34.
Rome was dominant in the first quarter of the boys’ game. Behind eight points in the paint by Desmond Johnson, the Wolves jumped out to a 16-6 lead with 55 seconds left in the quarter. The Jaguars finally woke up, scoring the final four points of the period to trail 16-10.
After another bucket by Johnson, Rome led 18-12 with 6:57 left in the first half when New Manchester took over the contest. The Jaguars used a fast-paced offense and ran the Wolves out of the gym, forcing several turnovers and easy fast break points during the stretch. Nashon Dortch hit a three and a contested jumper while Keymont Jenkins poured in 10 during a 20-4 run, closing out the half.
The Jaguars scored the first eight points of the third quarter and never looked back as they increased their advantage to 54-35 at the end of the third period. Dortch dumped in eight points during the period to help pace the Jaguar attack.
In the fourth quarter, both teams played several different players with the game’s outcome already decided.
Jenkins scored 21 points, including his 10 in the third, to pace the Jaguars during their first home win of the season. Dortch added 19 while Joe Boyer dumped in 10.
Johnson led the Wolves attack with 18 while Matthew Scott and D.J. Hunter both finished with 12 each.
In the opener, Rome’s stifling full-court pressure defense caused New Manchester problems throughout the game.
The Lady Wolves used their defense to create offense and score nine of the final 11 points of the first quarter, breaking open the game. Maleia Fain scored five during the rally as Rome led 12-4 after the first eight minutes.
In the second quarter, the Lady Jaguars showed signs of life. Trailing 23-8, New Manchester scored six straight points, including four from Uyriah Lucas. But that was as close as they could get and NMHS trailed 29-15 at halftime.
The two teams battled back-and-forth during the third quarter. Rome pushed its lead to 20 points (39-19 at the 1:46 mark) for the first time during the period and led 41-23 after three.
New Manchester never came within 18 point in the final quarter during the loss.
Tamra Leath finished with a game-high 16 points to lead Rome to victory. Astri Dupree added 14.
The Lady Jaguars had a balanced attack as five players finished within one point of each other. Taiylor Hibbord, Deesha Brefford, and Alyssa Harris all scored six points while Kiana Mitchell and Deshauna Smith added five each.
New Manchester returns to action today when it visits county-rival Alexander.