While most of the people of Newton County have locked themselves inside their homes to avoid the cold, baseball and soccer players have been playing outside in the "wonderful" weather. Eastside soccer has started its season 0-2, but the team has yet to be at full health and head coach Champ Young isn't worried about the slow start.
The athletes of the week for the week of February 9, are both the boys and the girls Eastside basketball teams, Imani Broadnax (Newton) and Tierra Hodges (Alcovy). Both Eastside teams put up a valiant effort during this week of region tournament games, but they were unable to get over the hump after it seemed each team had caught fire at the end of the regular season. Broadnax led Newton with 13 points against Lovejoy, helping to lift Newton to a third-straight region championship game against Tucker. Hodges scored 17 of Alcovy's 40 points despite getting in foul trouble ...
The basketball regular season has come to an end, the region tournaments are starting soon, baseball and soccer are beginning, but it's not too early or too late to recognize some of the best basketball players of Newton and Rockdale county. There will be a first and a second all-area team, with the criteria being regular season numbers, level of play, overall impact and of course the "eye test."
Usually when teams announce their starting fives before the game, after each name is called the individual player runs out through a tunnel of teammates and cheerleaders to shake the hands of all three referees and the opposing coach. On Friday – senior night – the Lady Eagles went about announcing their starting five a little differently.
As of January 16, the Eagles were on a three-game losing streak and looked like a team that wouldn't make the playoffs or would be one-and-done. Flash forward to now – the beginning of February – and Eastside basketball has won six-straight games including its latest and most prominent win, a double-digit victory over Walnut Grove (15-9, 7-2 Region 4-AAAA).
Between the boys and the girls game, Eastside celebrated its seniors in the final regular season home game of the season. The seniors didn't disappoint the fans and parents in attendance as both the boys and the girls recorded important region victories over Walnut Grove.
Eastside (10-9, 6-6 Region 4-AAAA) played like something was on the line in the fourth quarter of its matchup with region foe Locust Grove, and probably unbeknownst to the players, they were. With the eventual dominant 69-53 win over the Warriors, Eastside head coach, Gregory Freeman earned the 370th win of his career.
Eastside hosted Locust Grove on Friday night and both the boys and the girls got a victory to improve their region records as the season winds down. The boys improved to 10-9 overall and 6-6 in Region 4-AAAA. The girls improved to 8-12 overall and 7-5 in region 4-AAAA.
Earlier in the week, there was social media uproar from Eastside soccer students because they were told they wouldn't be able to play home games at Sharp Stadium this year. Eastside's soccer field isn't in the condition it needs to be in to allow students to play on it, and Sharp is the only alternative.
Looking at their record (5-10, 4-3 Region 4-AAAA) you would think that the Lady Eagles of Eastside are struggling through this basketball season. But for their sake, they are above .500 where it matters, with a 4-3 record in Region 4-AAAA play. Eastside was able to pick up its fourth region win of the season on Friday night with a 58-50 win over Eagle's Landing. With that win, Eastside has won three straight region games.
Eastside entered the new year on a four-game winning streak after losing four straight games, but head coach Gregory Freeman still has reservations about his team's current level of play.
Eastside's offense came alive in the first half, but Thomson's defensive pressure changed that in the second half. Still, the Eagles came away with a victory to improve their record to 6-6 on the season.
From the beginning, momentum was on the Eagles' side and they rode that wave out to a convincing 78-72 victory over Southwest Atlanta Christian.
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As school starts back, region play will come to the forefront of the season and each team will be truly tested to see who's a pretender and who's a contender. Some teams are off to hot starts, while others have come out of the gate slow. We take a look at where each team is and grade them on their current play and tease where they can go in the near future.
The Eastside boys and girls basketball teams have gotten off to slow starts this season. After both teams made waves last year, they were depleted by the departure of key senior players who moved on to college. The Eagles (3-6, 2-3 Region 4-AAAA) and the Lady Eagles (2-7, 2-3 Region 4-AAAA) both got wins over Pike County on Friday night to move them in the right direction at the quarter mark of the season.
The athletes of the week for the week of December 15, 2014 are Marquise Sims (Eastside), Darnell Jeffries (Alcovy) and D.J. Hill (Newton).
Here are your basketball scores for Eastside and Alcovy for December 19.
It was a crosstown clash Saturday evening as the Tigers of Alcovy traveled 13.6 miles to Eastside High School to take on the Eagles. It was great atmosphere at the game and both schools took home a win.
The athletes of the week for the week of December 1, 2014 are Darion "D.J." Hill (Newton), Janelle Cook (Eastside) and Autumn Evans & Madison Beazley.
For the first time this season, Newton and Eastside's basketball teams will face-off, continuing a rivalry that has been a thing since Eastside was established in the mid '90s. The Lady Rams are 4-1 and the boys are undefeated at 5-0. The Eagles haven't played as many games yet, but both the girls and boys are 1-1.
After starting their seasons with a loss over Thanksgiving Break, the boys' and girls' basketball teams of Eastside came back with a vengeance on Tuesday against Riverdale.
Eastside softball is represented well on the 2014 4-AAAA All-Region team. Caitlin Ray (infield), Madison Hopper (pitcher) and Bailey Stewart (catcher) were all named to the first team. McKenzie Powell (infield) and Brittany Medlin (outfield) were named to the second team. The Lady Eagles finished their season with a record of 16-6.
Sonya Hopper couldn't hold back the tears anymore. Sonya's daughter, Madison Hopper, was signing to attend Emmanuel College on Thursday afternoon and it brought them both to tears as Sonya spoke about Madison's journey in front of a large crowd of family and friends.
Eastside's offense has been prolific all season, but when it was shutout in the first half against Thomson, things looked dreary for the Eagles. The system was working fine. Eagles' receivers were dropping balls, quarterback Austin Holloway missed on a few throws and Eastside kept turning the ball over.
Both Newton County playoff teams advance in a wild Friday night of football.
Davonta Jones, Carlos Huggins and Jazztin Jefferson have been named the Newton, Eastside and Alcovy athletes of the week respectively.
Perennial state power Griffin rolled into Homer Sharp Stadium Friday night. And though Eastside gave them all they could handle, in the end it was too much Malik Miller and too much Bears defense as they defeated the Eagles 48-28 on the first really chilly night of the football season.
Eastside's boys basketball team was probably the best team in the county last year. The Eagles had a 15-game winning streak at one point and finished the season with a 23-4 record before falling flat in the region championship and the first round of state.