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Posted: December 7, 2013 8:21 p.m.

Lady Eagles outlast Alcovy

Anthony Banks/

The Eastside girls varsity basketball team improved its record to 5-1 Saturday on the road with a 51-46 win over rival Alcovy.

The Eastside girls varsity basketball team picked up its fifth win of the season Saturday afternoon, outlasting rival Alcovy 51-46 on the road.

The Lady Eagles rushed out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter, but had to hold off an Alcovy attack that saw the Lady Tigers take the lead late in the fourth quarter.

Down 45-44 with just over two minutes to go in the game, Eastside went on a 7-1 run to close out the contest, holding the Lady Tigers scoreless from the field while forcing a pair of Alcovy turnovers.

"It feels really good getting a win over our rivals, especially when one of our best players went down," Eastside coach Matthew Foster said. "We didn't hang our heads when we got down, and we hung in there and fought.

"We had the lead for most of the game, but we weren't able to put them away," he said. "They battled hard and gave it a good test. They scrapped and played us tight. It was a good rivalry game."

Leading 47-43 heading into the fourth quarter, Eastside fell behind for the first time in the contest with 4:50 to go in the game.

Ayanna Wimbush gave the Lady Tigers their first lead on a jumper in the lane, pushing Alcovy ahead 38-37.

Alcovy kept the pressure on Eastside, pushing its lead to 45-42 after Wimbush hit a pair of free throws, but Alcovy scored just once more at the line in the final 2:44 of play.

The Lady Tigers went 0-of-5 from the field over the final two minutes, allowing Eastside to claw its way back into the contest.

Eastside reclaimed the lead with 2:03 left in the game on a Zaria Barton layup, going ahead 46-45.

The Lady Eagles iced the game on a pair of Deshantra Kelly free throws and another Barton layup, holding on for the non-region win.

"It was all about want to," Foster said. "My girls wanted it. We have a lot of seniors with a lot of pride and they really wanted this win."

Eastside jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter, holding the Lady Tigers to a single field goal in the first half of play.

Tierra Hodges netted Alcovy's first basket with 34 seconds to go in the first quarter, but the Lady Tigers did find success at the free-throw line in the first quarter, shooting 7-of-12 from the line over the first eight minutes.

Eastside carried a 15-9 advantage into the second quarter, but both offenses stagnated in the period.

Both teams combined for 22 foul shots in a foul-prone period, but Alcovy managed to cut the Lady Eagles' lead to 15-14 on a Hodges layup and a Waneisha Morris free throw.

The Lady Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take a 20-14 lead, and both teams traded baskets to head into the half with Eastside leading 32-27.

Alcovy outscored Eastside 7-5 in the third period, cutting the Lady Eagles' advantage to three, but were unable to complete the comeback in the fourth quarter.

Barton finished as the Lady Eagles' leading scorer with 13 points, while Wimbush led the Lady Tigers with 22 in the loss.

"In the first quarter, we were just a little fatigued," Alcovy coach David Baker said. "We fought with a really good Morrow team last night, and we turned it on too late. It's hard to come back after getting down that much in the opening quarter."

Eastside returns to action Tuesday on the road at Walnut Grove, while the Lady Tigers take on Westlake next Saturday.

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