COVINGTON -- After a slow start, the Alcovy girls and the Eastside boys turned their games around to get a blow-out wins over their rivals on Friday. The Lady Tigers easily handled the Lady Eagles 62-31 while the Eastside boys topped the Tigers 62-48.
Nerves were a factor to start the boys game as turnovers and failure to finish shots kept the score low and close in the first six minutes of play. But the Eagles (2-0) were able to correct their problems and take advantage of Alcovy's (0-2) continued miscues.
Leading 10-5 with 1:35 left in the first period, Eastside extended its advantage to 16-6 to end the period. Alcovy threatened to take over the lead cutting into Eastside's lead, 23-17, before the Eagles finished strong to send the teams into the locker room at halftime with a 37-28 edge.
The Eagles dominated the third quarter taking a 54-33 lead. Even though Alcovy was down, they were not giving up going on an 8-0 run before Jamal Hardge broke the streak.
"I didn't place enough emphasis on these games last year because I knew what type of team I had. Now that the guys are in the system and they understand what we do. It was a great win for Eastside. Last year they beat us pretty bad," Eastside head coach Gregory Freeman said. "I think it shows how far these guys have come. The great thing is that we still have room for improvement."
Eastside's Quindarrius Russell led all scorers with 25 points followed by teammate Anthony Henderson with 12. Alcovy's Marcus Beasley, Tommie Peoples and Cornell White each had eight points.
"He (Russell) should be a candidate for first-team, all-state this year," Freeman said. "I haven't seen Newton, but I don't think there's anybody here that's as good as he is. He has worked so hard to be a better basketball player and it's just so evident."
Neither team was able to gain an edge over their opponent in the girls game. Even though the Lady Tigers (2-2) maintained a slight lead, the Lady Eagles (2-3) were always close enough to grab the lead if Alcovy did not watch them. But everything changed in the second half.
"We did some really good things in the first half but whenever we start to pull away we'd make one crucial mistake. Be it a missed block-out assignment or a missed put-back. We didn't do a great job blocking out in the first half and we kept putting them on the free throw line. That's something we talked about at halftime," Alcovy head coach Kidada Holtzclaw said. "We were able to pull away and our defense was stellar in the second half. It was a great team win."
Barely holding onto the lead at halftime, 23-17, Alcovy, led by Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams, came out in the second half putting the ball in the hoop while keeping the Lady Eagles scoring to a minimum. The Lady Tigers, with Tucker scoring 17 points and Williams adding 19, outscored Eastside 39-14 in the second half.
"We've been looking for leadership from those two," Holtzclaw said of Tucker, who signed with Auburn, and Williams, who signed with Alabama. "I think they realized that they have a lot of high school basketball to play."
Also helping putting points on the board and with her defensive play was Lakeiyah Sorrells who finished with nine points.
Eastside was led in scoring by Alexis Stokes and Jazzmine Cook with 10 and nine points.