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Eagles continue to make strides in region play sweeping Johnson

COVINGTON — The Eastside boys basketball team almost let a sure win slip away against Knights while the Lady Eagles gave the Johnson girls no doubt who was going to win as Eastside swept the doubleheader on Friday.

The Eagles (16-2 overall, 5-0 Region 8-AAAA) let Johnson (15-5, 3-1) hang around to still got the 62-57 win while the Eastside girls (10-9, 2-3) extended their 20-point halftime lead to a 44-point, 72-28, win over the 1-17, 0-5 Lady Knights.

Boys

The Eagles started the game scoring, blocking shots and stealing the ball from the Johnson ball handlers to the point where they didn’t know what to expect next. But after jumping out to a 30-15 lead late in the second period, the Knights had a charge of their own closing the half on an 11-0 run.

“It (being in control) changed because we didn’t follow instructions. By not following instructions it allowed them to get back into the game,” Eastside head boys coach Gregory Freeman said. “We allowed them to get back, we did by our own doing.

“We don’t know when to temper that. When we get a lead we have to make them play catch up. We’re in attack mode when we don’t have to be. It’s something they don’t understand. It’s not because they’re not being told.”

A 3-pointer and a basket by Johnson’s Roderick English and James Hodges, who paced the Knights with 23 points, made it a one-point, 32-31, game before a 3-pointer by Larry Saxon and two more by Anthony Henderson put the Eagles back in control.

No matter how hard Johnson fought back, they could never get closer than a two-possession game.

Eastside’s Treyvon Francis led all scorers with 24 points followed by Marquise Sims with 14 points.

“He’s pretty good and he did that after picking up three fouls in the first quarter,” Freeman said of Francis.

“We had a big game out of Marquis Sims and had a lot of minutes out of J.J. Saxon off the bench down the stretch. Then Daniel Oduah had five or six blocked shots. The thing is we’re winning but we could get better. I try not to look at the glass as full empty but half full.”

Girls

The Eastside girls had been having a difficult time making routine shots throughout the season but it seems like everything clicked. The Lady Eagles went through a stretch of making 11 straight layups before getting a miss. But the miss turned into a basket anyway on a put back.

“We were able to get ball control, get body control. We shot much better. Just those little fundamental things made a world of difference,” Lady Eagles head girls coach Matthew Jackson said. “Hopefully this is the turnaround so we can start peaking at the right time. We got the spark from everybody, everyone stepped up. Everyone shared the ball, passed the ball and looked ahead. All those fundamental things.”

Even though there were a lot of Lady Eagles that stepped up, the one that stood above the rest was Teirra Brown. In the fourth quarter alone, Brown scored 14 points, many coming off layups, as she led all scorers with 20 points.

“She basically a jv player but she stepped up. She’s been playing more and more varsity. The future looks bright, I’m very proud of the way she was able to go attack the basket,” Jackson said.

Also standing out with 11 points were Jymara Smith, who had three 3-pointers, and Adriana Spears, who scored all her points in the first half.

“She’s been doing that more and more. She’s been more consistent with her shots and more consistent with her defense,” Jackson said of Smith.

“I’m proud of each everyone of the girls, they played hard. We’ve been going through a rough spot trying to find a spark and this is the one we needed.”