Back on track

Lady Ea­gles rout Spald­ing 65-30, boys fall in over­time

The Covington News - - Sports -

Ty­lan Merk­er­son

East­side's girls bas­ket­ball team wasted no time dis­play­ing their im­prove­ment Fri­day as the Lady Ea­gles soared past Spald­ing in a 65-30 blowout.

East­side suf­fered its first loss of the sea­son ear­lier in the week but bounced back strongly. East­side's coach Matthew Jack­son said af­ter that loss that "his girls will im­prove." It was clear within the open­ing min­utes of Fri­day's matchup against Spald­ing that the Ea­gles were in­deed a much-im­proved team.

No player made it clearer than East­side's big time play­maker Jjade Cook, as she led the Ea­gles on a 9-2 run early in the first quar­ter. Cook's team­mates fol­lowed her lead; run­ning the floor, cre­at­ing turn- overs and un­selfishly dis­tribut­ing the ball to jump out to a 26-7 lead go­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter.

"We set the tempo in the first quar­ter. We are an up­tempo team and we played like one in that first quar­ter," Jack­son said. "Our de­fense is our of­fense so when we get out to a great start like that we are hard to beat."

East­side's in­te­rior post player Paige Alexan­der con­tin­ued the Ea­gles' first-half dom­i­nance with a blocked shot that sent the gym into a frenzy. On the very next pos­ses­sion, Alexan­der scored off of a strong post move that caused the Jaguars to de­mand a time­out.

The Jaguars made pos­i­tive strides af­ter the much­needed time­out. Kayla Matthews, who led the

Jaguars in scor­ing with 10 points found her stroke and nar­rowed the Ea­gles lead to 36-20 go­ing into the half.

How­ever, Raven Wil­liams im­me­di­ately put a halt to the Jaguars strides with a 3-pointer early in the third quar­ter and sparked the Ea­gles to pull away.

The Ea­gles barely missed a bas­ket in the third quar­ter and sev­eral play­ers con­trib­uted to that suc­cess.

The Ea­gles be­gan to ro­tate play­ers and uti­lize many of their back­ups in the fourth quar­ter.

"Our back­ups are get­ting much bet­ter," Jack­son said. "We are go­ing to need them down the stretch, es­pe­cially to­wards re­gion­als, so I was ex­cited to see them play well tonight."

The Ea­gles bench was able to ex­tend the lead go­ing into the fourth quar­ter to 59-28.

The girls played phe­nom­e­nal bas­ket­ball to fin­ish out the game with a 65-30 vic­tory.

The Ea­gles had nine play­ers con­trib­ute to scor­ing. Cook scored 16 points while Alexia Som­er­set dropped in 13 points. Wil­liams added 10 points with her ex­cel­lent shoot­ing. De­an­dra Sears scored six points and Keresa Howard and Jy­mara Smith both scored five points. Alexan­der chipped in with three.

The Ea­gles are now 12-1 and Coach Jack­son was proud of his team's re­sponse af­ter los­ing on Tues­day.

"We had good prac­tice ses­sions lead­ing up to tonight's game and the girls showed that they have brought back that killer in­stinct," Jack­son said. Boys: Spald­ing 41, East­side 40 (OT)

East­side's boys found them­selves in an­other nail biter Fri­day against Spald­ing. Two nights af­ter los­ing to Sandy Creek at the end of the game, the Jaguars de­feated the Ea­gles 41-40 in over­time.

The Ea­gles jumped out to a fast start with the help of Dono­van Bar­rett and his pre­cise 3-point shoot­ing. Bar­rett knocked down two 3-point­ers in the first quar­ter to send the Ea­gles into the sec­ond quar­ter with a 11-9 lead. Devin Ger­ald earned his spot on the court in the first quar­ter with his own 3-pointer which made the Ea­gles three for four from the three point line com­ing out of the first.

The Jaguars put an em­pha­sis on de­fend­ing the 3-point line in the sec­ond quar­ter and gave the Ea­gles a taste of their own medicine, scor­ing two 3-point­ers in the sec­ond quar­ter and pen­e­trat­ing the de­fense to snatch the lead away. East­side trailed 19-16 go­ing into half­time.

Down by three, the Ea­gles en­tered the third quar­ter with in­ten­tions to cap­i­tal­ize on the first quar­ter suc­cess of Bar­rett. Bar­rett scored five early buck­ets and caused havoc for the Jaguars un­der­sized de­fense.

De­spite Bar­rett's per­for­mance, the Ea­gles strug­gled and turned the ball over fre­quently, al­low­ing the Jaguars to take a one­point lead en­ter­ing the fourth quar­ter.

Justin Man­dola, who led the Jaguars in scor­ing with 15 points, be­gan to heat up in the fourth quar­ter. Man­dola got him­self to the free-throw line at will and cap­i­tal­ized on those op­por­tu­ni­ties. The Jaguars led 36-30 with five min­utes left in the game.

Af­ter Bar­rett fouled out late in the fourth, Devin Ger­ald knocked down one of two free throws to tie the game at 38-38 at the end of reg­u­la­tion.

In over­time, the Ea­gles traded points back and forth with the Jaguars, de­spite the loss of Bar­rett, up un­til the fi­nal minute in over­time. The Jaguars scored with 25 sec­onds left on the clock and East­side was un­able to re­spond.

Brit­tany Thomas/The News

Drive by: East­side bounced back Fri­day with a 65-30 romp of Spald­ing, af­ter suf­fer­ing its first loss of the sea­son Tues­day.

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