Hen­der­son, Fran­cis lead Eastside romp

The Covington News - - SPORTS - PHIL MAN­SON sports@cov­news.com

Se­nior guards An­thony Hen­der­son and Treyvon Fran­cis showed why they are hot col­lege prospects as each scored 21 points in the Eastside Ea­gles' dom­i­nat­ing 63-44 vic­tory over Wal­nut Grove Tues­day night in a Re­gion 8-AAAA ac­tion.

Eastside im­proved to 13-2, while the War­riors dropped to 8-10 over­all.

“I thought there was a bit of a let­down af­ter the win over Newton County,” Eastside coach Gre­gory Free­man said. “I thought we were busi­ness-like in our ef­fort. But, there is an un­der­stand­ing now that peo­ple are go­ing to give us their best shot. We have to play up to our record and what (our rep­u­ta­tion is) be­com­ing.”

The Wal­nut Grove War­riors gave the Ea­gles their best shot by jump­ing out to a quick 4-0 lead. But, Eastside went on a 13-0 run led by Hen­der­son’s seven points, in­clud­ing two 3-point shots, and Fran­cis added two 3-point­ers dur­ing the run to give the Ea­gles a 9-point ad­van­tage. Se­nior Larry Sax­ton’s 3-pointer and a bucket by Daniel Od­uah pushed the Ea­gles to an 18-6 lead af­ter one quar­ter.

Wal­nut Grove was not go­ing to roll over, how­ever. De­an­dre Durham, who led the War­riors with 13 points, hit con­sec­u­tive 3-point shots, and the War­riors went on a 10-0 run to come within two points, 18-16, with 4:30 left in the first half.

Eastside didn’t help it­self as the Ea­gles put up sev­eral poor shots and didn’t score a point un­til the 3:55 mark of the sec­ond quar­ter. From that point, though, the Ea­gles righted them­selves, as Hen­der­son hit two 3-point­ers and Fran­cis added another 3-pointer to give Eastside a 31-21 lead at the half.

Hen­der­son and Fran­cis ac­counted for 22 of the Ea­gles’ 31 first-half points.

The two-headed mon­ster of Hen­der­son, who is be­ing re­cruited by Tuskegee Univer­sity, and Fran­cis, who is on the radar of 2013 NCAA Tour­na­ment Sweet Six­teen team Florida Gulf Coast Univer­sity, started the third quar­ter as they ended the sec­ond. The duo spear­headed a 9-2 run to push the lead to 40-23 at the 4:40 mark. Then, Fran­cis ripped off a high­light-reel play as he went coast-to-coast, made the bas­ket and was fouled on the play. He hit the en­su­ing free-throw, and the Ea­gles led 47-31 at the end of three quar­ters.

Wal­nut Grove scratched and clawed to stay in the game, cut­ting the lead to 11 points, 52-41, with 3:18 left in the game. How­ever, it was Hen­der­son and Fran­cis an­swer­ing with 10 of Eastside’s 16 points in the quar­ter to seal the win 63-44.

Free­man had noth­ing but praise for his se­nior guards.

“I be­lieve they are the best one-two guard tan­dem in the state. I re­ally feel that way,” he said. “Treyvon is a point guard who has re­ally found an of­fen­sive rhythm and makes it re­ally hard for him to be guarded. I told an of­fi­cial he can score any­time he wants to. That’s taken him two years to re­al­ize, but he’s worked re­ally hard on his of­fen­sive game and he can score in­side, out­side, 3-point­ers – he’s fear­less.”

The Ea­gles, cur­rently ranked 10th in the state in AAAA by Maxpreps.com, take their high-fly­ing show on the road to face the Ch­es­ta­tee War Ea­gles Satur­day at 7:30 p.m. in Gainesville.

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

Eastside guard Treyvon Fran­cis and team­mate An­thony Hen­der­son scored 21 points each to help the Ea­gles to a 63-44 win on the road Tues­day night over Wal­nut Grove.

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