McDONOUGH - The Eastside boys basketball squad ended the year on a high note Monday night after topping Forest Park 47-40 to win the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Charger Hooptacular.
"It was good and we were real pleased with the way the guys played in the tournament," Eastside coach Michael Gerald said. "We just needed some momentum getting ready to (enter) region play. We had a lot of guys who stepped in and did well."
Three such players include Cameron Robinson, Neal Latimore and Zack Johnston. Robinson was named the tournament's most valuable player, while Latimore and Johnston were each selected to the all-tournament team.
Against Forest Park (6-6-l), Latimore scored a team-high 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Andrico Bailey added 14, while Robinson chipped in nine.
Forest Park's Brandon McCarden ended with a team-high 17 points and eight boards.
"It definitely helps with the confidence because you feel like you can see yourself being successful," Gerald said. "The kids are going to play hard, so when you do have an opportunity they will continue to battle and battle."
Eastside (5-5) visits county rival Newton (9-1) on Saturday.
"Defensively, we've got to do a better job," Gerald said. "We've improved our rebounding. We had a couple guys from football come out (Bailey and Justin Wray). Those guys have really done a great job for us and have brought their winning attitudes. They're willing to do whatever, so that's really benefiting us.
"I think we have to continue to play good defense, rebound the basketball and just continue to do the little things that people don't really think are important. We've got to continue to do those things and just continue to play as hard as we can play."
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.