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Eastside sweeps Monroe Area for region win

MONROE -- The Lady Eagles started slow but came back to crush Monroe Area while the Eastside boys waited until the final 2:30 of the game before topping the Hurricanes for the Region 8-AAAA sweep on Saturday.

The Eastside girls (3-3, 1-0) had a 26-point win, 61-35, over the Lady Hurricanes (0-5, 0-1) while the Eastside boys (5-0, 1-0) outscored Monroe Area (1-5, 0-1) 30-19 in the final quarter for a 66-59 win.BoysThe Eagles led early in the contest to go up 5-0. After losing the lead, the Eagles did not lead again until 3:51 left in the game on a Jamal Hardge basket. The lead did not last long as CJ Boyd hit a trey to give the Hurricanes the advantage once again.

The Eagles had a hard time getting the rebounds and turning the ball over for most of the game. But leading 58-57 after an Anthony Henderson 3-pointer, everything came together in the final two minutes of the game keeping the ball in their hands.

Eastside outscored Monroe Area 8-2 in the final 2:28 to get the win. Even though the Eagles won, head coach Greg Freeman was not thrilled with their performance in the first 28 minutes.

"It's not understanding what it means to be an undefeated team and know that people are talking about you," Freeman said. "We're not running our plays; everybody wants to do their own thing. How you get to be undefeated is by doing what you're supposed to do and not what you want to do. (Saturday) night was a wakeup call and we found a way to win. I'm grateful for that but we have to get better.

"Larry Saxton is somebody that practices hard every day and accepts whatever role I give him. He never complains and has never made it about himself. As a coach I'm happy for him, but as the coach of this team, I'm not very happy."

Henderson, who had four 3-pointers, led Eastside in scoring with 22 points; 12 coming in the fourth period. Also getting double-figure scoring was Quandarrius Russell who had 15 points with Tryvon Francis and Hardge scoring nine and eight points.GirlsThe Eastside girls started the game with a less-than-stellar performance as they allowed Monroe Area to stay within striking distance for the first quarter.

But everything changed in the second quarter. After leading just 14-10 after the first frame, the Lady Eagles turned up the pressure to go on an 11-2 run on their way to a 35-14 halftime lead.

"Our energy level was not where it needed to be," Eastside girls head coach Matthew Jackson said. "It took us awhile to get jump started before we could put that defensive pressure on them."

The Lady Eagles continued to pressure Monroe Area while capitalizing on mistakes to take a 49-21 advantage.

Putting most of the points on the board for the Lady Eagles were Ja'la Douglas (17), Journee Stokes (14) and Jymara Smith (8).

"Ja'la is a really good point guard," Jackson said. She has all the ability in the world. I'm so glad she stepped up and found her shot. JC (Jazzmine Cook) has been carrying us for a while so it's good that someone else has stepped up to have a good game.

"I'm proud of all the girls. This is a new region and getting that first region win is very big. It'll give us some momentum to do well with the rest of the games coming up."