Eagles look for sweep over Rams
Eastside hopes to end 8-game skid with win at Newton
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.