Posted On: 01/17/18 6:08 PM
Newman has been quietly racking up a ton of wins this season and Saturday was the Greenies’ 15th straight victory of the year. The team is now up to 17-2 on the season and they were ready from the opening tap on their home floor against Warren Easton.
Newman nailed six of their 10-3 pointers in the game in the first quarter, which led to a commanding 22-8 lead after the first quarter. Easton battled back in the second quarter getting as close as 27-22 but Newman extended the lead to 34-27 by halftime and led by double-digits for most of the second half.
It was a big win for the Greenies as Easton handed them one of their two losses on the season, 52-51, in November on a game-winner by Vernon Simms.
MVP: Newman 2018 G Riley Demps
Demps, the son of Pelicans general manager Dell Demps, is usually a knock-down shooter from deep but the 6-foot-2 guard couldn’t get his shot to fall against the Eagles. That only allowed Demps to show off more of his skillset, though, and he did just that scoring a game-high 19 points while grabbing four rebounds with four assists. He didn’t make any 3-pointers but was 7-of-10 at the stripe and repeatedly muscled his way into the lane finishing through contact. Demps has a brachial plexus injury that limits mobility in his right arm but the lefty has an excellent feel for the game as a scorer and passer.
Best offensive performance: Warren Easton 2018 G Lance Madison
Madison continues to make his case as one of the city’s best finishers. He’s a long 6-foot-3 prospect that is fluent using either hand around the rim and he routinely alters his shot in the paint to get good looks or draw fouls. Madison was the Eagles’ leading scorer with 15 points with all of his buckets coming inside the 3-point one or at the strip where he was 4-for-5. He also led the team in rebounding with five and had three assists with two steals.
Best defensive performance: Newman 2018 G Finn Bendana
Bendana was a pest on the ball guarding multiple Warren Easton ball handlers throughout the game. The Greenies didn’t go deep into their bench and his constant effort played a key role in the Newman’s effort on defense. He also had two key buckets in the second quarter to give help the Greenies slow down Warren Easton’s comeback.
Best shooter: Newman 2021 G Javon Ruffin
Ruffin is the name to know here.
He’s the son of Pelicans player development coach Michael Ruffin and there’s been a buzz around the city surrounding the up-and-coming freshman. At 6-foot-3, Ruffin already has solid size for a guard and he was hot from downtown against the Eagles connecting on five triples throughout the game. He was tied with Demps for the game high in scoring with 19 and also led the Greenies in rebounding with 6.
Best intangibles: Newman 2018 James Amoss
Newman had a few players that were a bit under the weather and Amoss was certainly one of them. Just before the start of the second half, the senior lost all of his lunch in the garbage can behind the Greenies’ bench. He wiped the remnants from his mouth, took a sip of water and was on the floor for the start of the third quarter. Amoss had one of Newman’s six 3-pointers in the opening quarter and finished the game with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Best play: Newman 2018 Riley Demps’ repeated and-ones
As mentioned earlier, Demps did the majority of his damage in the paint against Warren Easton. It isn’t often you see a player convert four and-ones in one game but Demps had two in the second quarter, one in the third and one more in the fourth. He made three of the four ensuing free throws and all four and-ones gave the Greenies a jolt of energy.
Best guy off the bench: Warren Easton 2019 G Justin Williams
Technically, Williams was in the starting lineup this game but played more of a sixth-man role for the Eagles with their leading scorer Madison coming off the bench. Williams has been good for at least a pair of 3-pointers in nearly every game this season and he had two more against Newman on Saturday. He finished with eight points and also had a steal in the matchup.
Best under-the-radar performance: Newman 2018 J.P. Bush
Bush had a performance that even seemed to surprise Newman coach Jimmy Tillette. Senior Zachary Gertler usually starts in Bush’s place but Gertler was sick and Bush took advantage. He was right behind Demps and Ruffin scoring 17 points in the game and nine of his points came from behind the arc. He also had four rebounds and three assists.
Best underclassmen: Newman 2021 G Javon Ruffin
Ruffin was the only non-junior or senior to touch the floor and he was arguably the top player on the court. His ability to shoot the ball makes him a deadly scoring threat and he also showed some toughness mixing it up inside for rebounds.
Best quote: Newman 2018 G Riley Demps
“We’re not worried about the streak. We’re just trying to get better every day and if that comes with wins, then that comes with wins. But we just want to keep getting better, practice hard and together we can do big things.”