The Newnan Cougars and Campbell Spartans entered Friday night’s Region 2-7A game knowing one of them was finally going to break through and win a league contest.
Unfortunately for Newnan, it will have to wait another day to pick up its first region win as its comeback fell just short against visiting Campbell 58-55.
The loss dropped Newnan to 6-12 overall and 0-5 in the region. Campbell improved to 11-6 overall and 1-4.
Newnan had two chances to send the game into overtime but both 3-point shots fell short as time expired giving the Spartans the victory in a game that saw several lead changes and shifts in momentum.
Brandon Carter converted a 3-pointer for Newnan after hitting a shot, drawing the foul and then converting the free throw to give the Cougars a 53-52 lead.
It was the last time they were ahead on the scoreboard.
Both teams committed a turnovers with just over a minute to go in the contest, but Campbell helped put the game away thanks to the free throw shooting of Therrell Burden.
The Spartans’ senior point guard hit five of six with less than 34 seconds left.
His two free throws with 29.2 seconds left gave Campbell a 56-52 lead.
Newnan, however, still had life as Jamar Stargell raced the ball down the floor and fired up a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc to cut the lead to 56-55.
Burden came through one more time with his final two free throws of the night to give the Spartans the final margin of victory.
Tay Watson led Newnan with 14 points. Burden led all scorers with 28.
Newnan led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter and before Campbell clawed its way back in the second period to lead 26-25.
The Cougars seized the momentum in the third quarter with three straight 3-pointers.
Justin Wallace drilled the first long-range jumper for the Cougars to cut the score to 36-30 and then Zion Brown also got into the act with a 3-pointer to slice the lead to 36-33.
After Watson’s dunk cut Campbell’s lead to 36-35, Wallace struck again with another 3-pointer to send Newnan into the lead at 38-36.
The Cougars pushed the lead to 40-38 at the end of the third quarter to set the stage for a wild final eight minutes.
Newnan led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Newnan’s Harrison Drake had a 3-pointer in the first quarter and Kevin Leslie had the hot hand for the Cougars scoring six points.
His final basket of the quarter gave Newnan a 14-8 lead.
Campbell outscored Newnan 18-9 in the second period and led 26-25 at the break.
Five players scored in the second quarter for Campbell and Brandon Deravine connected on a 3-pointer in the period and also hit a free throw right before the break to push the Spartans into the one-point halftime lead.
The Cougars get back into action Tuesday on the road at Wheeler.
In girls action:
CAMPBELL 47, NEWNAN 37: The Lady Spartans built a 22-12 lead at the end of the first half and then held off a determined Newan squad.
Hailey Bloom and K.K. Mardrey each had a 3-pointer in the third quarter to help Newnan’s attempt to get back in the game.
Madrey’s two free throws in the final period cut the Spartan’s lead to 43-34.
Madrey spent the fourth quarter getting to the line and connecting on five of six free throw attempts.
The loss dropped Newnan’s record to 6-12 overall and 1-4 in the Region 2-7A. Campbell improved to a 12-6 and 4-1.
Newnan led briefly in the first quarter when Madrey hits baskets to give them a 5-4 and later a 7-6 lead.
Madrey led Newnan with 14 and Bloom 8. Jamiah Alston tossed in 14 for Campbell.