Marist girls hang on to defeat Eastside in AAAA

With just over two minutes to play in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Class AAAA first-round game against Marist, it looked like the Eastside girls were setting themselves up for a comeback victory. But after a 3-pointer from Deshantra Kelly with 2:17 to go, the Eagles didn’t score again in a 56-51 defeat.

Eastside finished its season, which included a runner-up finish in region 8, 14-13. Marist (21-8), the No. 3 seed from region 6, will travel south to Columbus for a second round game Monday.

Kelly hit the three for her only points of the night, but Marist led the hosts hang around, missing a pair of lay ups on consecutive possessions. Still, Eastside’s offense went cold and Dominique Oden, who polished off her 24-point game with a free throw to make it 53-51 and the War Eagles sealed the win with a 3 for 4 trip to the charity stipe on the same trip down the floor, thanks to Annabella Farabaugh keeping the possession alive with an offensive rebound.

The game was tied at 45-45 before Marist used a steal and lay up by Oden, a three-point play from Kelsey Carrier (13 points) and Briana Bell’s bucket to go up 52-45 with four minutes remaining in the contest. Eastside went 3 of 4 from the line to get within 52-48 at the 3:12 mark.

Marist had the first of its missed shots close, setting up Kelly for the last Eagles’ points of the season.

It was a competitive opening quarter with Eastside hitting three 3-pointers during the first eight minutes, including Jymara Smith’s three to put the hosts up 13-7 with just over two minutes to play.

Marist trailed 7-0 early on and didn’t score its first points until Carrier picked up the first of her three lay ups at the 4:37 mark.

The Atlanta school closed the quarter much better than it started it, scoring 11 of the final 17 points. The War Eagles’ run continued into the early stages of the seconds, taking their first lead at 17-15 on Farabough’s jumper with 6 1/2 minutes to go until halftime.

The lead changed hands once more with Eastside going up for the remainder of the half at the 3:42 mark on the last of Smith’s seven first-half points, and the Eagles led 28-23 on a three from Janelle Cook.

A three-point play from Oden got Marist to within 28-26 at the break.

Smith led Eastside with 12 points.

The Eastside boys’ state tournament woes continued in the nightcap as Grady out-scored the host Eagles 14-2 in overtime to win its first-round game 62-50.

Eastside (23-4), which had its state playoff losing streak extended to eight games (the Covington school hasn’t won in the postseason since a first-round victory in February, 2001), had tied the game at 48-48 on Anthony Henderson’s banked-in 3-pointer with one minute to play in regulation.

But the overtime belonged to Grady, and in particular, its point guard Maddison Martinez.

Martinez made consecutive 3-pointers within the first 1:42 of the extra session, putting Grady (17-10) ahead 54-48. Eastside had a pair of 1 of 2 trips to the free-throw line to get as close as 56-50, but Martinez and Tyrius Walker, who each led all scorers with 18 points, went a combined 8 of 8 from the line over the last two minutes.

Eastside, the runner-up from region 8, came back from a 48-41 deficit and evened things up on Henderson’s three, which was from well beyond the three-point arc.

Grady had two chances for the game-winner in regulation, but Darriun Shelton missed a put back and with five seconds left Avi Toomer was long on a three-point attempt.

Grady trailed by two late in the third, but used a 7-0 spurt to go up 42-37 early in the fourth on a steal and lay up by Walker.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half and the lead changed hands eight times. The last team to go ahead before halftime was Eastside, which turned a one-point deficit into a 27-22 halftime lead thanks to four points from Jamal Hardge during a 8-2, half-ending run.