McDONOUGH -- It looked like Eastside's boys team was finally going to win their first game of the season but a difficult fourth quarter led to Eastside being outscored by 10 points in Henry County's 71-60 win on Tuesday.
One thing the Eagles (0-3 overall, 0-1 Region 4-AAA) were not was consistent as they fell by as far as 10 points before fighting to get back into the game.
"It's called playing to win. That's something that they have to learn," Eastside head coach Gregory Freeman said. "They have to dig down deep inside. You have to play to win, you can't play to say I played them close. That's where we are right now. We have to get passed that and push through."
Henry County (3-2, 1-0) jumped out to a 10 point, 19-9, lead before the Eagles came charging back to make it a four-point game (29-25) at the half and one point (45-44) heading into the final quarter.
However, Eastside all but gave the game away in the final period with excessive turnovers and poor free throw shooting. The turnovers included everything from passes over the intended players head, stepping out of bounds with the ball to throwing to pass the ball through the arms of three defenders.
"It's a lack of concentration; like knowing when to pass the ball, knowing when to take a shot. Everything is like a hurdle, we get over one then we have to learn how to get over another one," Freeman said.
It's what I call style over substance. Substance means you know how to get the ball to the guy that's open. Style means you try to thread the needle. Style doesn't win basketball games, substance does."
While Eastside lacked free-throw shooting skills only making 36 percent of their shots going 7-for-19, Freeman did like what he saw from his young starters and bench players.
Pacing the Eagles on the scoreboard was sophomore Anthony Henderson (16 points) followed by juniors Quindarrious Russell (12) and Chavis Williams (10).
"We have to grow. Treyvon Francis is a 10th grader, Jamal Hardge (sophomore) did a great job off the bench. He brought a lot of energy, The core of this team is young. We're going to get better," Freeman said.
"I couldn't be more proud of the effort. If we play like this night in and night out we'll win some games. I hate losing, it rubs me the wrong way, but there's a silver lining in this one. We were on the road and played hard."