Ea­gles Soar

East­side boys’ basketball team de­feats Norht Oconee and stays in first place in re­gion

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - XAVIER MCKNIGHT sports@cov­news.com

The East­side Ea­gles boys var­sity basketball team hosted North Oconee Satur­day in non-re­gion ac­tion, rout­ing the Ti­tans 62-43 while never trail­ing in the game.

The win ex­tends the Ea­gles' win streak to 12 games; the streak be­gan with a 66-47 vic­tory over the Ti­tans Dec. 14.

Since then, the Ea­gles have had lit­tle trou­ble with their op­po­nents at home or on the road, mov­ing their record to 17-2 over­all and 5-0 in re­gion play. The loss drops the Ti­tans to 6-14 over­all.

East­side coach Gre­gory Free­man said the Ea­gles' de­fense was key in the win over North Oconee, as East­side held its 10th op­po­nent to 50 or fewer points dur­ing the streak.

"We hang our hats again on how we de­fend," Free­man said.

The Ea­gles be­gan the game on a 5-0 run, with all five points com­ing from ju­nior Ti­mothy Haynes.

North Oconee cut the lead to two on a 3-pointer, but the Ea­gles and Daniel Od­uah went on a 6-0 run, ex­tend­ing East­side's lead to 13-5. The Ea­gles ended the first quar­ter with a 16-8 lead. It took nearly three min­utes for ei­ther team to make a bas­ket in the se­cond pe­riod, but the Ea­gles broke the ice on a bucket by Justin Adams. His bas­ket was fol­lowed by a 3-pointer from An­thony Hen­der­son and a pair of free throws by Treyvon Francis, giv­ing the Ea­gles a 15-point lead.

North Oconee then scored back-to-back layups, but the Ea­gles' re­solve re­mained in­tact, and they took a 2917 lead into half­time.

The Ea­gles be­gan the se­cond half on an 11-0 run. Haynes made a pair of bas­kets dur­ing the stretch, in­clud­ing a thun­der­ous dunk. Hen­der­son made a 3-pointer to give the Ea­gles a 40-17 lead, push­ing East­side's ad­van­tage to 23.

The re­main­der of the quar­ter saw the teams ex­chang­ing bas­kets, but the Ea­gles went into the fourth quar­ter with a 51-29 lead.

The Ti­tans be­gan the fourth quar­ter on a 7-0 run, with four of the points com­ing from layups. The Ea­gles re­sponded with a 4-0 run on a shot from Od­uah and a layup from Hen­der­son.

North Oconee an­swered with a 3-pointer, but Od­uah re­sponded with a thun­der­ous two-handed dunk for the

Ea­gles.

The Ti­tans hit an­other shot from be­yond the arc, but the Ea­gles went on a 5-0 run on free throws by Od­uah and Francis. Od­uah fin­ished off the short spurt af­ter catch­ing a pass from Ja­mal Hardge and threw down an­other dunk, fin­ish­ing over his de­fender.

“We did what we had to do on de­fense and I did what I had to do on of­fense," Od­uah said. "I got a good out­let pass and the rest hap­pened."

Free­man said the Ea­gles' win streak has re­sulted from years of re­build­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“This is the cul­mi­na­tion of 2-3 years of hard work," Free­man said. "This is the best record in the his­tory of East­side basketball, but we’re not done. We take it one game at a time, and we don’t over­look any­body.”

An­thony Banks/The Covington News

East­side's Daniel Od­uah dunks over his de­fender in the Ea­gles' 62-43 vic­tory over vis­it­ing North Oconee on Satur­day.

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