After a close first half last year’s AAAA state champion, Jonesboro holds Eastside to two points in the third quarter to defeat the Eagles 71-56.
James Walker Jr. hit Jonesboro’s first two jumpers from the corner to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead after Raytavious Jackson opened the scoring for Eastside.
A putback dunk by Jamari Smith gave the Cardinals a 9-5 lead before Perry answered with a trey to pull within one.
Kenneth Qualls was playing full court defense on Eastside leading scorer Isaiah Miller and the Eagles were having a tough time getting him the ball, but Miller still managed to score a couple early baskets.
The Eagles couldn't connect on a few consecutive possessions and it led to a 7-0 run by the Cardinals, giving them a 21-10 lead.
A shot by TeAndre Bailey at the buzzer made it 23-13, Cardinals after the first.
Deadly three-point shooting from Walker Jr. kept Jonesboro with a healthy lead. The Eagles went on a 7-0 run highlighted by a nice one-on-three finish by Joshua Cammon to get within eight with 2:09 left in the first half.
Perry knocked down two free throws to make it a six-point game with under one minute to play.
Cardinal head coach told his team to clear it out and Walker Jr., currently ranked second in the state by ESPN and eight overall, took on Perry one-on-one nailing a three with Perry’s hand in his face to put the Cardinals up 36-27 at halftime.
Jonesboro started the second half on a 12-0 run as Miller wasn't able to get involved much in the offense and Cammon struggled mightily from the field, especially from three where Cammon went 1-10 from deep.
Two free throws from Miller ended the run but the damage was done and Jonesboro was up by 19. Miller’s two free throws would be Eastside’s only points in the third as the Cardinals led 54-29 entering the fourth.
With a three from Miller (assist Perry) the Eagles scored eight points in one minute and 25 seconds. They were down 56-37 after an Eagle timeout.
A steal by Cammon would get him to the free throw line and two makes made it a 17-point game.
The Cards got it back to 20 attacking Eastside’s press. A 6-0 run by the Eagles got it back to within 14 with 4:13 to play. Unfortunately, Eastside couldn't cross the double-digit barrier and the Eagles fell to a talented Jonesboro team 71-56.
Miller finished with 26 points, the only other Eagles in double digits was Perry with 11.