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Newton leads BA girls to win

    MILLEDGEVILLE — It was just an ordinary shot in the paint, one like she's made dozens of times before.
    But this one was special.
    It gave Bulloch Academy junior Anna Newton 1,001 points in her three-year varsity career as she helped the Lady Gators roll past Dominion Christian, 49-24, in the opening round of the GISA Class AAA girls' basketball tournament Wednesday.
    Bulloch (24-5) advances to Friday's second round where it will battle the Westfield School Lady Hornets at 7 p.m. at Stratford Academy in Macon. The Lady Gators will be making their fourth "Elite Eight" appearance in six years.
    Newton led the Lady Gators with 15 points, and both Taylor Collins and Haley Burke added eight points each in the lopsided contest.
    The Lady Gators came out of the gate strong and hard in the first quarter, taking a 19-6 lead when the buzzer sounded.
    "The girls have been in this situation before and they acted like it," BA head coach Paul Webb said. "We got so many points off of our press and their turnovers. We got a big lead but we kept playing hard."
    Bulloch went up, 33-12, at the half and Webb let his girls in on Newton's pending achievement.
    "I stepped out of the locker room with Anna and had Beth (assistant head coach Burke) tell the girls," he said. "At that time, she was four points away so in the second half, they kept feeding her the ball. She missed four consecutive free throws and about five shots before she made the two baskets."
    Newton was oblivious to the hoopla.
    "I had no clue," said the humble daughter of Dewey and Laura Newton. "We were up 20 points (41-20 at the end of the third quarter) and I tried to pass the ball around but they kept giving me the ball. They kept telling me to shoot."
    After a Mary Margaret Reeves pass to her in the lane, Newton swished a 6-footer with roughly five minutes left to break the barrier.
    "I still didn't catch on until Coach Webb called timeout and gave me the game ball," she said. "I was so surprised. But I didn't think about reaching 1,000 points. I am definitely more excited about advancing to the second round of state."