Eagles fall on last-second shot
Boys-Sandy Creek 44 Eastside 42
Eastside’s boys’ basketball team stumbled with two seconds left on the clock Tuesday and Sandy Creek defeated the Eagles 44-42 with a buzzer-beater to end the game.
The Eagles trailed by two points throughout most of the game. However, the versatile offensive attack by the Patriots proved to be their strength and the formula for their success. Forward Brandon Byrdsong scored six points for the Patriots, but it was his final two points that won the game.
Tyler Fields, Carrington Raven and Nick Ridley led the Patriots in scoring with eight points each. Damien Brown added seven.
“We have been in their shoes before,” Eastside coach Michael Gerald said. “We now understand what it feels like to experience joy for being on the winning end and frustrated when you are on the losing end. Tonight was a great learning lesson for our team and we will grow as a team from this.”
The Eagles began the first quarter with the help of several players’ ability to get to the free throw line. Yet the Patriots led going into the second quarter 13-7 and the Eagles didn't shoot the ball well.
“We really struggled offensively tonight early in the game,” Gerald said.
However, as the second
quarter progressed, Donovan Barrett knocked down a pivotal 3-pointer for the Eagles to shift the momentum in their favor. Jermaine Romeo capitalized on the momentum for the Eagles with a steal and a quick score. Ben Miller dished a beautiful pass to Romeo who scored to send Eastside into halftime down 21-19.
The Patriots came out of the half in a fullcourt trap. The Eagles turned the ball over in the third quarter and the Patriot's Carrington Raven scored seven unanswered points off of Eastside turnovers.
Devin Gerald hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to ignite an Eastside comeback. Jonathan Benton scored two more points to finish out the third quarter and give the Eagles their first lead of the game at 36-34.
Barrett inspired the Ea- gles’ defensive intensity in the fourth quarter by taking a defensive charge. Gerald knocked down a three on the very next possession to keep Eastside in the game. Barrett added his own three to tie the game at 42-42 with 1:15 left of the game clock.
The Patriots held the ball after a turnover to run the clock down and set up their last shot. The clock read five seconds and Byrdsong drove the ball to the basket for the Patriots before putting up a shot with two seconds left on the game clock.
Devin Gerald scored 10 points while Barrett chipped in with nine.
“We did a lot of good things tonight and we have to work on some things as well but we will prepare and get better for our next opponent,’’ Gerald said.
Slide by: Chris Bonner drives to the rim during Eastside's loss to Sandy Creek Tuesday.