COVINGTON — It wasn’t the home opener the Lady Eagles were hoping for as turnovers, missed layups and free throws helped cause Eastside to lose to Henry County 61-50 on Tuesday.
“We had too many missed opportunities,” Eastside head coach Matthew Jackson said. “We came out flat. We didn’t come out like we did for the tournament. I think coming out flat takes away a lot of energy.”
Eastside trailed the entire first period before a couple of late baskets helped close the Lady Hawks lead to make it 13-12 to end the opening quarter. Hurting the Lady Eagles were turnovers as well as their free throw shooting as they were 2-for-6 from the line.
The Lady Eagles started the second eight minutes with Tierra Brown sinking the first shot giving Eastside the lead. The home team went on a mini run taking a double-digit lead, 25-15, at the midway point. The Lady Eagles stopped turning the ball over as much and they started making their free throws going 4-for-6 in the quarter.
However, Henry County was not going down easy as they fought back to close the gap to 27-23. But a quick basket by Jazzmine Cook and several turnovers helped increase the Eastside from four points to seven making it a 32-25 game.
The third frame started much like the first with Henry County making the shots and Eastside turning the ball over. The Lady Hawks’ Taylor Cistrunk gave her team the lead 35-32 with 5:22 on the clock on a 3-pointer after making the tying basket two minutes into the game.
“They have a good team and they run a lot. We’re not used to having someone that’s that fast making us get back having to play defense. They get the ball back quick and normally that’s what we do to teams,” Jackson said. “This team was able to do that to us.”
After Eastside tied the game at 40 with less than three minutes left, neither team was able to run away with the game as the Lady Hawks led 45-44 to end the quarter.
Eastside’s inability to make layups continued to hurt them as Henry County slowly began pulling away making it 56-46 with four minutes left in the game. The Lady Hawks continued to pressure causing turnovers as they extended their lead to get the win.
“We’ll learn from that and correct those things for Friday’s (at Greene County) game,” Jackson said. “In spurts we played well. But that’s not the defense we normally play.”
Pacing the Lady Eagles were Cook with 20 points and Zaria Barton with 12 points while putting the points on the board for Henry County Cistrunk with 27 to lead all scorers and Devin Lewis with 12.