Regulation wasn’t enough to decide the Class AAAA state basketball tournament opening round winner between Eastside and Grady Saturday afternoon, but overtime proved to be no friend to the Eagles in a 62-50 loss to the visiting Knights.
Eastside trailed by seven in the fourth quarter, but tied the contest with a minute to go, taking the Knights into overtime at 48-48.
In the extra session, Grady’s Maddison Martinez scored 10 of the Knights 14 points, eliminating Region 8-AAAA’s No. 1 seed.
Treyvon Francis led Eastside with 11 points, but failed to score in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Eastside turned the ball over 12 times in the final 20 minutes, while Grady pounded the Eagles inside in a physical contest.
With the game tied at 48 heading into overtime, Martinez knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, his second and third treys of the night, pushing the Knights ahead 54-48. Grady added a pair of free throws to its lead and with a minute to go in the extra period, it appeared that the Eagles would be shut out in overtime.
Justin Adams broke the Eagles’ scoreless streak in overtime, converting two of his four free-throw attempts in the period, but the foul shots were Eastside’s only points of the quarter, as Grady closed the game with six consecutive free throws to seal the 12-point victory.
The Knights’ Tyrius Walker knocked down four shots at the charity stripe, part of his game-high 18 points, and Martinez also knocked down a pair, joining Walker with 18 points.
Eastside led 27-22 at halftime, but turned the ball over six times in the third quarter while giving up 16 points to the Knights in the period. The sloppy quarter, saw a back-and-forth battle at the free-throw line until Grady battled back with a 9-0 run that tied the game at 29-29.
Grady took its first lead of the second half with 2:20 left in the quarter on a Orlando Riley rebound and put-back, but Francis scored on a layup and Adams hit a pair at the line, retaking the lead for the Eagles.
The Knights used a Walker layup and two foul shots to retake the lead 35-33, but J.J. Saxton scored on a layup and Tommy Yates added a basket on his first touch of the game on an assist from Jamal Hardge, turning the tide back to Eastside’s favor.
Eastside’s momentum was short-lived, however, as Grady’s Avi Toomer connected with a 3-pointer at the top of the key with two seconds to go, sending the Knights in the fourth quarter with a 38-37 lead.
In overtime, Grady led by as many as seven with less than six minutes to go, but Eastside allowed the Knights a single field goal in the final 5:12 of the period. Trailing 48-42, Larry Saxton knocked down a pair of free
throws and Daniel Oduah added a score inside, trimming Grady’s lead to three.
With a minute left in the game, Eastside guard Anthony Henderson hit the Eagles’ lone 3-pointer of the game, kissing the shot off the glass for a 48-48 tie, forcing overtime.
Henderson finished with just nine points, but scored five in the fourth period during Eastside’s comeback bid.
Francis scored seven of his 11 points in the first quarter as Eastside opened the game with a 13-11 lead. The Eagles and Knights traded baskets in the second period, but back-to-back scored from Hardge with 1:20 remaining pushed Eastside ahead 23-20.
Adams added a baseline hook and Henderson converted a layup
with 27 second to go, sending Eastside into halftime with a five-point lead.
The loss drops the Eagles to 23-4 overall this season with a 9-0 mark in region play.