Eastside back with victories

McDONOUGH - After losses by both Eastside basketball squads in the opening round of the Charger Hooptacular at Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, both teams bounced back with victories Friday.

The Eastside boys beat Union Grove 51-45, while the Lady Eagles beat Stockbridge 45-41.

The Eagles and the Wolverines exchanged the lead for most of the game. Both teams traded shots until Eastside put itself in the lead by 12 points. Union Grove fought to get back into the game, but the Eagles held on for the win.

"We played a lot better defensively. We were determined not to get ourselves in a hole. We tried to play more zone and pressure them. We tried to give them one shot," Eagles head coach Michael Gerald said. "Offensively, we got things going off of our defense."

Gabe Mathis paced the Eagles in scoring with 14 points followed by Cameron Robinson who had 11.

The Eastside boys (6-4) will play the winner of the Whitewater-Pike County game at 2:30 p.m. today in the fifth-place game.

The Lady Eagles (2-5) trailed 15-3 at the end of the first period before Ashley Burtts and company exploded in the second while shutting down the Lady Tigers.

"The thing that I was encouraged about and felt good about was the fact that we started the game down 15-3 and we came back and at halftime it was 15-15," Eastside girls coach Jason Grooms said. "That says a lot about our kids, that they didn't give up. They pulled out a win."

Burtts led all scorers with 21, sinking 13 of 15 free-throw attempts.

"It was pretty good win for us because they have a decent team," Grooms said. "Free throws were big for us. We shot a real good percentage."

The Lady Eagles will play at 1 p.m. today against the winner of the Eagle's Landing Christian/Pike County game.

"I feel like we're getting better," Grooms said. "I think we have a good chance of winning (today) and if we can get a little win streak going, that would be pretty cool."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@ newtoncitizen.com.