COVINGTON — Three-point shooting and defense allowed the Lady Eagles to win their Region 8-AAAA home game with a 56-29 victory over Madison County on Tuesday.
“We’re trying to get back to Eastside basketball with defense. We did a better job of blocking out against Alcovy,” Eastside girls head coach Matthew Jackson said. “I just told the girls that wasn’t a region game, this is the game that counts. They were hyped, they were excited and they responded defensively first then the shots started falling a little bit.”
The Lady Eagles (12-10, 3-3) had eight 3-pointers with Jymara Smith, who led all scorers with 13 points, sinking four from beyond the arc.
“She did an amazing job. Her outside shooting is becoming very prominent now as far as being part of our offense,” Jackson said of Smith. “We’ve really relied on that these last couple of games. She’s put time and energy into that and its shown.”
Zaria Barton finished the game with 12 points including two 3-pointers. Also making a pair of 3-point baskets was Reyneisha Clay.
“Our outside shots were falling. I told them to just keep shooting,” Jackson said. “We just missed a lot. We still haven’t gotten back to where we were shooting in the beginning of the year. But it’s a good sign that it’s coming.”
The Lady Eagles kept Madison County in the game rushing several layups. However, defensively the Eastside girls were able to outrebound the Lady Raiders while blocking three shots while stealing the ball and forcing turnovers.
“There was a lot of excitement being senior night and having so many parents here,” Jackson said. “You get excited and start to rush and do things that are uncharacteristic. The energy level didn’t diminish as they calmed down.”
While Eastside’s defense continued to set the pace in the game in the second quarter, the offense started finding the bottom of the net a little bit more consistent. The Lady Eagles outscored Madison County 14-5 with 11 of their points coming in the first two minutes of the period. Clay, Smith and Barton all hit from 3-point range to give the Lady Eagles the double-digit lead.
Leading 24-8 to start the third frame, the Lady Raiders came out more aggressive challenging the shot and going after the ball.
Unfortunately, their aggressiveness came with a cost as sending the Lady Eagles to the line. Despite their aggressive manner, the Lady Raiders were unable to faze Eastside as the Lady Eagles continued to pull away.
That Lady Eagles will travel to Lanier today before finishing the season on the road at Monroe Area.