Ea­gles look for sweep over Rams

East­side hopes to end 8-game skid with win at Newton

The Covington News - - Sports - Josh Briggs Sports Edi­tor

Since East­side's boys beat Newton in early De­cem­ber, the two teams have gone in com­pletely dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. The Rams are 10-1 while the Ea­gles won their next game and haven't won again since. So what should we ex­pect when the teams meet Satur­day?

The past two times the Rams and Ea­gles met, both games came down to the wire. That in­cludes last year's game at Newton in which the Rams pre­vailed only af­ter sur­viv­ing over­time. His­tory would say Satur­day's game will be close. But the way each team is play­ing may in­di­cate some­thing else.

The Ea­gles are mired in an eight-game los­ing streak. Dur­ing that streak though, East­side has lost three games by two points and one by six — in dou­ble over­time no less. The Ea­gles have been in games, but they're strug­gling to close them out. That could be a prob­lem against a red­hot Rams team com­ing off its most emo­tional win of the year.

Newton took down mighty Rock­dale Wednes- day and hasn't lost since their one-point loss to Al­covy in De­cem­ber. The Rams are rid­ing a se­v­engame win­ning streak that in­cludes a hol­i­day tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship and an 18-point blowout on the road at Luella.

If East­side is go­ing to win, it'll need big ef­forts from Dono­van Bar­rett and Devin Ger­ald. Even if those two guys make shots, some­one else is go­ing to have to con­trib­ute of­fen­sively. Bar­rett has been pretty con­sis­tent and both he and Ger­ald had great games against the Rams at their place in the first game. But the Ea­gles strug­gle of­fen­sively be­yond those two and that's been part of the rea­son for their strug­gles thus far.

Satur­day's game prom­ises to be dif­fer­ent in many as­pects. For one, Der­rick Henry is the best player in ei­ther county and a top-10 player in the state. East­side won't stop him. But the Rams have im­proved vastly of­fen­sively since the be­gin­ning of the year and were with­out Wil­lie Smith the first time around. Look for Smith to make an im­pact.

The girls tip off at 4 p.m. and the boys are set to start at 5:30 p.m.

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