It was another Eagles’ blowout for the Eastside boys basketball team (13-2, 7-0 Region 4-AAAA) as they stunned region foe Locust Grove in an 85-60 win that put their winning streak at 12 games.
Eagles’ leading scorer Isaiah Miller opened the contest with a three after Jesse Walden won the tip.The Wildcats went on a 5-0 run but a Joshua Cammon reverse layup tied the game.
Locust Grove sophomore Brandon Thomas’ second triple gave Locust Grove a 10-5 lead before Keondre Perry answered with a three to bring the Eagles within two.
Miller and Perry trapped Locust Grove guard David Walker while bringing the ball up the court and forced a turnover allowing Perry to break free for the easy dunk that tied the game at 10.
Another forced turnover by Eastside leading to a Miller alley-oop layup from Perry gave Eastside a 12-10 lead. However, Thomas was hot and he nailed his third triple to bring Locust Grove within one at 14-13, forcing an Eastside timeout.
It was a battle for best player on the floor between Miller and Thomas. Thomas had 12 first quarter points on four triples and Miller added seven in the opening frame to put EHS up 20-19.
Three back-to-back triples by the Eagles gave them a 31-22 cushion after Thomas knocked down three free throws from the charity stripe. With Miller resting, Eastside was in good shape to open the second quarter.
Locust Grove got the lead back to seven after Eastside had gotten it to 12 but TeAndre Bailey knocked down another three-pointer and the Eagles’ lead was back at double digits.
Eastside's hot shooting from beyond the arc boosted the Eagles to a 45-35 lead at halftime. Miller didn't play for most of the second period.
The Eagles went on a quick 6-0 spurt to start the second half.
With strong half court man-to-man defense, Eastside’s 10-point halftime lead turned into 20.
“That’s our primary defense, it’s that half court man-to-man. What ends up happening is teams start off really well against us because they have this persona that we’re gonna come press them. I want them to take away from their practice trying to prepare for what we’re gonna do press-wise, and really what we play is our man-to-man. So it just gives them something else they gotta worry about.
“I think them coming downhill creates a lot of open shots they have the ability to knock down,” he added.
The Wildcats’ Thomas banged in his first triple in the second half after being quiet early in the quarter.
Off his own miss, a Perry putback made it 66-42 Eagles with under one minute to play in the third. Miller followed with a bucket of his own and the Eagles held a 68-42 lead going into the fourth.
An alley from Perry to Miller off of a Wildcat turnover put the Eagles up 74-50 with under five minutes remaining.
It was another easy win for the talented Eagles. The defense was ferocious and the offense was stellar in the Eagles’ 85-60 defeat of Locust Grove. Miller led the team with 25 points followed by 16 for Perry and 14 for Cammon.
“[Miller] doesn’t take bad shots and a lot of his stuff is at the rim or he’s getting an offensive rebound and putting it back in,” Wren said. “He’s an athletic kid that gets to spaces and he doesn’t really shoot bad shots. It’s a plus for us. He’s somebody you gotta watch, you gotta box-out.”