Al­covy boys get first win, East­side stays un­beaten

The Covington News - - SPORTS - GABRIEL KHOULI gkhouli@cov­news.com

New­ton County’s bas­ket­ball teams had a suc­cess­ful Tues­day as four out of six teams earned vic­to­ries, in­clud­ing the Al­covy boys, who won their first game of the young sea­son, while the East­side boys re­mained un­de­feated.

Boys

Al­covy

The Tigers once again led in the fourth quar­ter of Tues­day’s game against Druid Hills, but for the first time this sea­son the team man­aged to avoid its usual self-in­flicted mis­takes, hold on for a 69-63 win and showed the kind of growth needed to turn a sea­son around.

“In the other two games (against New­ton and Mor­gan County), guys were try­ing to win games by them­selves. Ev­ery time they’d catch the ball, some­body was try­ing to do some­thing by them­selves, make some type of spec­tac­u­lar pass, in­stead of run­ning the sys­tem and try­ing to ex­e­cute down the stretch,” said head coach Eu­gene Brown.

Even in Tues­day’s game, Al­covy (1-3, 1-1) still let Druid Hills back into the game in the fourth quar­ter, but the team buck­led down and pulled out a close six-point vic­tory, buoyed by strong per­for­mances by se­niors Justin Wal­lace, who had 15 points and seven as­sists, and Mar­cus Beasley, who had 14 points and 10 re­bounds.

“We al­lowed them to tie the game in the fourth quar­ter, but in­stead of what had hap­pened in past games – our lack of ex­e­cu­tion in the fourth quar­ter – we did some things the way we needed to get them done to fin­ish the game,” Brown said. “That was the dif­fer­ence; we made changes in our ros­ter to get guys to un­der­stand it’s not all about an in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance and that it’s not go­ing to work un­less it’s a team ef­fort.”

Not only did the start­ing lineup change, but a cou­ple of play­ers were asked to leave the team be­cause of at­ti­tude prob­lems.

Brown par­tic­u­larly noted the ef­forts of Shane Lawrence, who played his sopho­more year but sat out last year, and Rico Her­ring, two new var­sity play­ers who pro­vided a spark.

“It was a re­lief for the guys (to get the win). They set some really high goals and got some pretty big as­pi­ra­tions coming off last year’s tremen­dous success. They were a lit­tle un­sure of them­selves, and they needed that win to get that con­fi­dence back and re­al­ize that they could fin­ish ball games,” Brown said. “We were ahead in the fourth quar­ter in three of the four games. We never stopped work­ing hard in prac­tice, and try­ing to find the right com­bi­na­tion of guys with the right at­ti­tudes.

“We started off like this year years ago, when we were 0-3, and then ended up 20-8.”

The Tigers will head to Mor­row to­day for an­other re­gion game.

On Satur­day, the team is hav­ing a fund raiser for the team. New mat­tresses and bed­ding will be sold this week­end at prices around 60 per­cent off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Al­covy High School.

East­side

The Ea­gles mean­while con­tin­ued their un­beaten sea­son, down­ing Henry County (1-1) 78-73 for East­side’s (4-0) fourth straight win.

Henry County jumped out to a 21-12 lead in the first quar­ter, due in part to a cold shoot­ing start by the Ea­gles, who missed sev­eral shots in the paint.

How­ever, the Ea­gles came back strong with a 17-12 sec­ond quar­ter and con­tin­ued to turn up the tempo, scor­ing 25 in the third quar­ter and hold­ing off a late Henry County run for the win.

Se­nior guard Quin­dar­rius Rus­sell led all scor­ers with 32 points, while ju­nior guard Treyvon Fran­cis notched a ca­reer high 16 as­sists, along with 13 points. Ju­nior guard An­thony Hen­der­son added 19 points in the big scor­ing night.

“I really thought the in­ser­tion of ju­nior Ja­mal Hardge into the start­ing lineup was im­por­tant for this game due to the phys­i­cal na­ture of Henry Coun- ty's team. Ja­mal helped to sta­bi­lize the glass and also played ter­rific de­fense on both the perime­ter and the bloc,” said coach Greg Free­man.

The Ea­gles will look to de­fend their record to­day when they travel to strug­gling Mon­roe Area (1-4) for an 8:30 p.m. game.

New­ton

On the other side, the New­ton Rams dropped their first game in a hard fought 43-38 loss to re­gion foe Love­joy.

The game started off poorly for the Rams, who fell be­hind 14-2 in the first quar­ter, be­fore go­ing on an 8-0 run. They man­aged to tie the game in the fourth, but even­tu­ally fell back be­hind by three points af­ter a Love­joy bas­ket.

New­ton’s Ro­dar­ius Mitchell lofted a three pointer with 6 sec­onds left, but the shot was off the mark and New­ton was forced to foul. Love­joy would hit its two free throws and walk away with the win.

Rashad Ca­bane led the team with 10 points and seven re­bounds in the los­ing ef­fort.

New­ton will look to get back on track Fri­day when it trav­els to the Jack­son, Al­tanta Jaguars to­day for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Girls

Al­covy

The tal­ented Tigers con­tin­ued their strong play with a 56-23 win against Druid Hills to im­prove to (4-2, 2-2). The team will take on Mor­row to­day at 7 p.m.

New­ton

The Rams won in sim­i­larly im­pres­sive fash­ion, tak­ing down Love­joy by a score of 58-24, get­ting back on track af­ter a tough loss to Al­covy last week.

The Rams will head to Jack­son, At­lanta to­day at 6 p.m.

East­side

The Ea­gles were the only team that couldn’t pull out the vic­tory, los­ing by one point to Henry County 66-67. East­side fell to 2-3 on the sea­son and is off next week, be­fore trav­el­ing to New­ton Dec. 15 for a 2:30 p.m. game.

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