WALNUT GROVE — Both Alcovy squads are still in search of their first win of the season after a pair of losses while the Eastside boys held off a strong Mundy’s Mill to start their season with a win at the Walnut Grove Thanksgiving tournament on Monday.
The Alcovy boys (0-2) ended the first quarter with a lead but could not hold it losing to Walnut Grove (3-2) 57-47 while 36 turnovers hurt the Alcovy girls (0-4) in their 58-35 loss to Langston Hughes (4-0).
The Eagles (1-0) overcame a 10-point deficit in the second quarter to take the halftime lead against Mundy’s Mills. Eastside held off a last charge by the Tigers (3-2) to get a 68-65 win.
Eastside 68, Mundy’s Mill 65
The Eagles found themselves in foul trouble early and often as the Tigers scored 21 of their points from the line. Eastside’s foul trouble started early getting nine fouls in the first quarter. Eastside lost their top player, Treyvon Francis, midway through the third quarter due to fouls. But even without Francis, the Eagles were able to persevere.
“That says a lot about our team, Eastside head coach Greg Freeman said. “When you have your DI guy gone with a quarter and a half left to play and still win the game.”
One player in particular the Eagles were able to count on was Anthony Henderson who led Eastside at the board with 19 points and put him over the 1,200 point mark.
I thought Justin Adams did a great job inside,” Freeman said. “He played with a lot of confidence. We need to find somebody to add to him. If we can get the inside under control we’ll be just fine.”
The Eagles were unable to hit their perimeter shots early in the contest allowing Mundy’s Mill to jump out to a 18-12 lead. However, a 13-0 run in the second quarter helped them take a 32-22 lead. A big 3-pointer by freshman Joshua Cammons tied the game at 22 to start the run as they ended the half with a 37-22 lead.
Mundy’s Mill started the second half using their height to out rebound the Eagles giving them second and third shot opportunities. However, Eastside was able to withstand the onslaught by applying pressure to the ball handler allowing them to steal the ball and score in transition.
“Physically, we have to put a body on people. There has to be a willingness to box out. They have to do things I ask them to do,” Freeman said. “We play with purpose and there were times in the game when we didn’t play with purpose. There were times where there were lulls in the game and we had to put a ninth grader point guard in. He had to grow up, it was a great learning curve for him.”
Walnut Grove 57, Alcovy 47
Alcovy opened the game playing aggressively which hurt with fouls, poor shots and turnovers. They missed 12 layups while turning the ball over 26 times.
“Anybody can make layups in practice when you’re going slow, trying to look cute,” Alcovy head coach Jabari Levi said. “But when you have to go full speed, the defenders there and you have to concentrate and focus on that layup it’s a difference. That’s what I’m still going to continue to instill in them and we’ll keep on working on it and continue to get better.”
A couple of bright spots for Alcovy were Cameron Bank’s 13 points and Jovan Rosse’s 10 points.
All three teams will be back at Walnut Grove today with Eastside playing Grayson at 10:30 a.m. followed by Alcovy girls against South Effingham at noon and Alcovy boys against South Atlanta at 1:30 p.m.