Riley Demps had 25 points, and Javon Ruffin added 20 to lead Newman to a 58-49 victory over Covington in the championship game of the Hannan Hustle Tournament at Hannan.
Demps and Ruffin were named Co-MVPs of the tournament.
“Covington has guys that stretch the floor with their shooting," Demps said. “We were able to force them into bad shots, while our offense played well.”
Newman (16-2) opened with an 11-2 run over the first 4:47.
The Lions (10-4) closed the first quarter strong on a 5-0 run to make it 11-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Covington got within 15-12 after a Reggie Gause 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the first half. But Newman closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 27-17 halftime lead.
Newman connected on 11 of 28 field goals for 39 percent, while Covington hit on just 6 of 24 for 25 percent.
“We had a rough night shooting,” Lions coach John Boudreaux said. “But credit Newman, they forced us to take bad shots. We faced a lot of adversity but were able to fight back near the end. We just lost to a really good team.”
Newman outscored Covington 16-10 in the third quarter to take a 43-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
Kejohn Batiste scored the first seven points of the third quarter for the Lions to get within 30-24 at the 5:19 mark. Newman hit 4 3-pointers in the third quarter to extend the lead again.
“Our guys are unselfish” Newman head coach Jimmy Tillette said. “We got a little fatigued near the end, but we were able to do enough to win. It wasn’t our best tournament that we have played.”
Covington trailed 45-27 but went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 45-36 with 4:03 left. Newman had just 8 turnovers, but five came in the fourth quarter. Two free throws by Batiste with 40.3 seconds remaining got the Lions within 54-49, but Newman salted the game away at the free-throw line. The Greenies made 11 of 14 free throws, including 9 of 12 in the in the last 1:35. Demps and Ruffin combined to go 9 of 10 from the freee-throw line in the final 1:35.
“Our offense has so many good players,” Ruffin said. “I was able to get open and knock down my shots.”
Ruffin connected on 4 of 7 from 3-point range as Newman made 7 of 19 as a team. The Greenies shot 41 percent from the field.
The Lions were led by Batiste with 22 points and 15 from Reggie Gause. Covington made just 6 of its 23 3-pointers and shot 43 percent from the field.