COVINGTON — Both Eastside squads had some late-game comebacks but they both fell short as they were swept by Newton is Friday’s doubleheader at Eastside.
The Lady Rams (5-2) held off Eastside’s charge to handily beat the Lady Eagles (6-2) 61-48. The Eastside boys (5-2) managed to take the lead but excessive fouls kept the Rams (6-1) adding points to their total giving Newton the 52-49 win.
Foul shooting, or rather the amount of foul shots taken, was the difference in the game if you were to ask Eastside head coach Greg Freeman.
“They shot 38 free-throws, we shot 12. What more can I say, there’s nothing more to that. It’s cut and dry when you look at that discrepancy. More than half of their points came from free-throws. We’re still fighting for respect,” he said. “We can’t play in our own gym.”
Newton took advantage of the foul shots afforded to them in the first half of their 10 of their 20 first-half points came from the line taking a 20-10 lead.
Eastside came out strong in the third quarter cutting into Newton’s lead outscoring the Rams 24-19. Eastside’s Treyvon Francis scored half of his 20 points in the third quarter while 10 of Newton’s 19 points came from the free-throw line. Francis scored five points early in the fourth quarter before fouling out.
“I thought he (Taylor Hawkins) did a good job in shutting down (Anthony Henderson) and (Francis) some of the time. He got both of those guys in foul trouble with some penetration,” Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen said. “He’s the best perimeter defender in our county, maybe in our region. He can guard anybody.”
Hawkins led the Rams offensively as well scoring 22 points including going 6-for-6 from the courtesy line
“I thought Taylor was very aggressive offensively, that’s just what we wanted him to do,” Rasmussen said. “Taylor is a senior and a four-year varsity player. He’s very experienced and been getting his rust off being a receiver on the football team. He played very well on both ends of the floor.”
Even without their points leader, the Eagles managed to take the lead with 4:24 left in the game on a 3-pointer by Larry Saxton.
Newton responded with a 3-pointer of their own, by Jalen Glover who had 10 points for the Rams, giving them a 46-45 lead. Both teams traded the lead before Newton scored six-unanswered points, four from free-throws, taking a 52-46 lead.
Eastside’s Daniel Oduah, who had 11 points for the Eagles, ended the game with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“They (Eastside players) came out not focused on the task. I warned them about not being prepared,” Freeman said. “You can’t get caught up in everything around you. We have to be big-game players.
The Lady Rams had a game plan to pressure the Eastside girls into submission while scoring quick and easy baskets to jump out to an insurmountable lead.
While they were able to pressure the Lady Eagles, they were unable to put the points they wanted on the board. The Lady Rams were missing a lot of second and third tries allowing the Eastside girls to get the ball bringing it down to the other end of the floor.
“I think we got all hyped up, it’s a big rivalry game,” Eastside girls head coach Matthew Jackson said. “They jumped on us a little early but I wasn’t worried so much about that. I was more worried about us settling down.”
While the Lady Eagles began to settle down reacting better to the pressure, the Newton girls also settled down finding the bottom of the net.
After jumping out to a 16-point lead, the Lady Eagles were able to start scoring cutting the lead down to five points, 48-43, midway through the fourth period.
But the Lady Rams were able to start doing what gave them the big lead outscoring Eastside 13-5 to end the game with the win.
Newton’s Deandra Reed and Eastside’s Zaria Hall-Barton led all scorers with 17 points with Newton’s Precious Price scoring 10 for the game’s other double-figure scorer.
“We were rushing our shots but we were really missing Jazzmine Cook. She’s averaging 20 points a game and 10 rebounds. That’s really hard to overcome,” Jackson said. “But I’m really proud of the girls hanging in there. They fought hard and came back getting back to five (points). We missed a ton of free throws. If we had made our free throws and some layups we’re right there.”