Lady Eagles advance in region tournament despite poor play

McDONOUGH -- Even though the Lady Eagles did not play anywhere close to their potential against Eagle's Landing, the host team played a little worse, allowing Eastside to advance to the semifinal round of the Region 4-AAA tournament with a 63-54 win on Wednesday.

"We had no energy. We got off the bus with no energy, came in for warm ups, no energy," said Eastside head coach Matthew Jackson. "It's like we had jet lag."

A normally consistent Eastside team was 3-for-18 from 3-point range. Even though the shots weren't falling, it kept shooting them. Eagle's Landing, on the other hand, was 7-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first half but only took one trey in the second half.

Despite committing more mistakes and being outrebounded by Eastside in the first quarter, Eagle's Landing kept up as Eastside entered the second frame with a one-point, 16-15, lead.

Eagle's Landing turned up the heat, scoring 11 straight points as it went into the locker room leading 33-24.

"We hit a wall and weren't able to execute at all. Everything that we worked on in practice just wasn't falling," Jackson said.

Part of the problem was that Eastside allowed the Eagle's Landing defense to key on their shooters, blocking shots without any resistance.

"That's lack of energy and, once you get that shot blocked, not having confidence in yourself," Jackson said. "We're going to work on things to get that confidence and energy back."

Eastside started the second half slow but quickly sped up its play as the shots started dropping. Giving Eastside needed confidence: Eagle's Landing scored only three points in answer. Eastside regained the lead 41-36 to start the fourth.

After scoring just 10 points in the first half, Eastside's Alexia Somerset took her game to the next level, scoring 22 more points and getting 17 rebounds.

Jazzmine Cook, who had five steals, was Eastside's second-highest scorer with 14 points.

"We had to jumpstart (Somerset) even though she ended up with 32 points. It starts with (Somerset). She's our leader and has to go out and step up every single game. She cannot be a reluctant player," Jackson said.

"If both of them can score, then everyone else can play their role and do what they need to do."