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Eastside basketball squads sweep Alcovy

COVINGTON - Eastside came out and showed Alcovy that they were not going to be dominated in their house as both Eastside basketball teams won their games in a sweep Saturday.

The Lady Eagles came out first and pulled off a 44-35 win before the boys completed the sweep with a 57-44 win over the Tigers.

BOYS

Eastside 57, Alcovy 44

Helping Eastside establish their dominance were senior Neal Latimore and freshman Jhastin Thomas.

Latimore led the Eagles on the scoreboard with 16 points, while Thomas just missed out a double-double, scoring 12 points and bringing down nine rebounds.

"I told (Thomas) I'm not going to keep him on varsity if he doesn't start bringing something to the table," Eastside coach Michael Gerald said.

Even though Alcovy trailed 29-17 after the first half, Alcovy came out to start the second determined not to give up.

The Tigers went on a 12-3 run to get within three midway through the third quarter. But Eastside was able to gain its composure.

Providing the catalyst for Alcovy's comeback was freshman Devon Edwards who scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the third.

"Coming back takes a lot out of you. Devon played one of his better games of the year. He's coming around as a freshman. He's growing," Alcovy coach Eugene Brown said.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, they were unable to keep that pace as Eastside's pressure and good shooting allowed the Eagles to close the third period outscoring Alcovy 9-2.

"We just got away from what we try to do, people stepping outside their roles and doing things they're not suppose to be doing," Brown said. "When we got back in that position to make something happen, you miss a shot or make a bad decision. When you're not playing well, those things happen."

Alcovy made a valiant effort to stay within striking distance, starting the final period with 10 of the first 14 points.

But once again, the Eagles kept their heads in the game to outscore the Tigers 12-3 to end the game.

"I think the guys are starting to understand that it's not about individuals, it's about making plays," Gerald said.

Also scoring in double figures for Eastside was Cameron Robinson, who had 10 points.

In Friday's Eastside-Jackson County boys game, Eastside trailed 16-11 after the first period before turning up the heat on the Panthers.

The Eagles turned a five-point deficit into an 11-point halftime lead.

They held Jackson County to five second-half points, three in the third and two in the second, for a 67-27 win.

Latimore paced the Eagles with 24 points.

GIRLS

Eastside 44, Alcovy 35

Both teams tussled to start the game as the lead changed four times before the Lady Eagles closed the opening frame outshooting Alcovy 6-1 to take an 11-5 lead.

"Every time we come out in a rivalry game, we get jittery. I want them to have the mentality of being the aggressor," Eastside coach Jason Grooms said.

Eastside's lead was cut 18-14 at the half, but the Lady Eagles were able to build it to eight points, 24-16, late in the third period.

That was when Alcovy's Alex Tucker came with a vengeance, hitting two 3-pointers and a field goal to tie the game at 24 with a minute left in the third.

Tucker had led all scorers with 11 points, followed by teammate Lisa Kossally with 10 points and Kate Palo, who had nine.

Ashley Crew made a free throw to make the score 25-24. That was when Antonia Mullins added a basket on a rebound before scoring the last basket of the period to give Eastside a 29-24 lead.

Crew extended Eastside's lead to 33-24, scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter.

She finished the game with nine points and 10 boards.

"I felt like they were going to make a run," Grooms said. "But at the same time, I was proud how we responded to that run."

Also having nine points for Eastside were Raven Williams and Jjade Cook.

Alcovy got it to within five, 40-35, but sophomore Paige Alexander kept the Lady Tigers from taking second-chance shots with her rebounds.

Alexander had 13 rebounds to go with her six points.

"When Paige wants to play, she's hard to stop on both ends of the court," Grooms said." She's been playing well for us offensively. We've been trying to encourage her to play better on defense."

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