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Eastside Eagles regaining stride
Eastside’s Jayvon Johnson (2) attempts a shot during a region 8-AAAAA game against Jefferson on Friday night. - photo by Anthony Banks

COVINGTON, Ga. — Two weeks ago, the Eastside Eagles hit a substantial bump in the road during a season that was promising. It lost two straight which was preceded by a four overtime victory. 

Head coach Dorrian Randolph said following the Social Circle loss on Jan. 21 that his players were just tired. 

A week later, though, the Eagles seemed rejuvenated and are back to their winning ways. 

On Tuesday, Eastside cruised to a 71-34 win over Clarke Central and a 58-38 win against Jefferson. 

Randolph believes his team has gotten back on track, but he was hesitant to go all in, contingent on what his team does to finish out the regular season. 

“As long as we keep up that energy and effort, we’re down that path again,” Randolph said. “Tuesday is really going to tell us, because we have to go to Flowery Branch. I heard it’s a tough place to play. If we can come away with that one, the next time I talk to you I’ll tell you, ‘Yeah. I think we’re there.’” 

Last Friday’s defeat of Jefferson improved the Eagles to 18-4 overall with a top place 8-2 Region 8-AAAAA record. 

On Tuesday, Eastside heads to Flowery Branch followed by a home matchup with Winder-Barrow. It closes the season in non-region action against Social Circle on Feb. 4.  

Two of the Eagles’ final three games will be at home, in a gym Eastside calls, “The Eagles’ Nest.” 

Randolph recognized the importance of having a strong home-court advantage and how it’s helped the Eagles succeed throughout this season. 

That was on display, too, on Friday. 

“Tonight was probably the biggest crowd we’ve had [in the new gym],” Randolph said. “The athletic director said to me, ‘Hey, it’s starting to come.’ It’s not there yet where I would like it to be, but the kids are starting to come and support. And that, in turn, makes the players feel good and play harder.”