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Eastside girls dominate Walnut Grove to stay unbeaten in region play

WALNUT GROVE -- The Lady Eagles' high-pressure defense and running-style offense were too much for Walnut Grove to handle as Eastside cruised to an easy 77-48 road win on Tuesday.

Despite all the pressure that the Eastside girls (9-7 overall, 3-0 Region 8-AAAA) were applying, the Lady Warriors (5-13, 0-2) kept it a close game. The pressure applied by the Lady Eagles did have its consequences as they committed seven fouls in the first period, keeping Walnut Grove in the game.

But the pressure began taking its toll, allowing Eastside to go on a 16-0 run in the second period to extend its lead to 33-16 with 1:34 left in the half. Eastside entered halftime with a 35-21 advantage.

"We made an adjustment to stop reaching and move their feet and their hands and get the deflections," Eastside head coach Matthew Jackson said. "We saw that they were slowing down a little bit, so it was like sharks smelling blood. That's what we were trying to do, just go out and put them away. When you have a team down, don't let them come back."

Scoring most of the points for the Lady Warriors in the first half were Bri Faulk with 11 points and Kala Mosley with nine.

"A lot of the points they had, in our estimation they shouldn't have," Jackson said. "We were playing aggressive but we weren't finishing when they did break our press to keep them from scoring. We weren't keying on them in the second half as much as making sure nobody scored."

Even though the Lady Warriors made some adjustments in the second half, it was not enough as Eastside never let its lead fall below double digits.

"Every single game we do that type of pressure, but (Tuesday night) we had energy," Jackson said. "We came out with a sense of urgency and we really got after it. That's the way I'm trying to play every single game we press that's what we have to do."

An area of improvement for the Lady Eagles was on the free-throw line, where they made 63 percent of their shots going 15-for-24.

"Traditionally, that's been one of our Achilles' heels. We've been working on it and it seems like its finally paying off," Jackson said.

Pacing the Lady Eagles on the scoreboard were Jazzmine Cook, Journee Stokes and Adriana Stokes. Journee was the leading scorer for Eastside with 16 points, followed by Cook with 15 and Adriana with 14.

"That's balanced scoring," Jackson said. "Journee has been playing more consistently every single game. Having someone step up, like Journee and Adriana, so we can continue to have three or four girls be consistent double-digit scorers, we'll be fine."