Basketball teams throughout Newton County were busy competing for championships during the holiday season.
The Eastside Eagles brought home the hardware at the W McKithen Holiday Tournament, defeating Cross Creek 68-53 on Dec. 27 before throttling Greene County 65-48 on Dec. 28.
Eastside guard Anthony Henderson led the Eagles with 20 points against Greene County, breaking the 1,200 point mark for his career, while Treyvon Francis finished with 18 points and eight assists against Cross Creek, garnering tournament MVP honors.
The Eagles doubled up the Tigers in the title game in the first quarter, opening up a 16-8 advantage before holding off a second-quarter Greene County rally. The Tigers’ second-quarter comeback cut Eastside's lead to 30-26 at the half.
In the second half, Eastside outscored Greene County 21-11 in the third quarter before outscoring the Tigers by three in the fourth quarter for the 17-point victory.
The Eagles return to action this weekend when they travel to Henry County on Saturday.
Lady Eagles finish second
The Eastside girls varsity basketball team finished second overall at the W McKithen Tournament, besting Thomson 52-38 before falling to Putnam County 51-50.
The Lady Eagles led by as many as five against Putnam County, but had to rally late to cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to one late in the contest.
Down by four with 11 seconds to go, Eastside coach Matthew Jackson called a timeout to set up a shot. The Lady Eagles answered with a 3-pointer from Deshantra Kelly after the timeout, but Eastside's comeback bid fell short as the Lady Eagles ran out of time.
"We didn't have one of our best shooting games, but we played good defense and hung in there," Jackson said. "Overall, I'm proud of all of the girls and the effort they put forth in the tournament."
Against Thomson in the opening round of the tournament, the Lady Eagles ran out to a 23-7 first-quarter lead.
Eastside gave up 24 combined points in the second and third quarters, but outscored Thomson 10-7 in the fourth.
Jymara Smith was named tournament MVP for the Lady Eagles.
Rams place third
The Newton Rams varsity basketball team wrapped up its holiday schedule with a consolation game victory over Walnut Grove Monday, defeating the Warriors 73-64.
The Rams reached the consolation final after falling in the semifinals to Athens Christian 56-53.
Jalen Glover led the Rams with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, while grabbing all-tournament honors.
Newton led by four at halftime, carrying a 30-26 lead into the break, but while the Rams were unable to slow the Warriors' offensive output, Newton connected on seven 3-pointers to match Walnut Grove's offensive charge.
Darvin Jones also finished with 14 points, as Newton scored its highest point total of the season in the win.
Newton opened the tournament with a 62-33 victory over Monroe Area.
Glover finished with a career-high 27 points against the Purple Hurricanes, while D.J. Hill added 12 points and seven assists.
Against Athens Christian, the Rams trailed by double figures in the fourth quarter, but cut the Eagles’ 11-point lead to three with seconds to go.
Glover's game-tying 3-pointer missed its mark in the final seconds, breaking the Rams' five-game win streak.
Newton returns to action tonight on the road at Luella at 5 p.m. in region action.
Lady Tigers win two
The Alcovy girls varsity basketball team picked up a pair of wins over the holiday season, defeating Westside 39-34 and Brookwood 52-43.
The Lady Tigers fell to Centennial 64-40 in the second round of the Jingle Jam Basketball Tournament.