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Eastside gets revenge
The loss to the Eagles drops Newton to 12-4 overall. The Eagles and Rams split their regular season series after Newton defeated Eastside 52-49 in their first meeting this season.

The Eastside Eagles varsity basketball team traveled to Newton Saturday and evened the season series with the Rams with a 58-49 road victory.

Anthony Henderson led Eastside with 20 points, but Eastside had to hold off a hot shooting Newton team in the third quarter.

“It’s a great team win, and I’m ready to keep up the momentum and keep on going,” Eagles’ senior guard Treyvon Francis said.

It was a back-and-forth game from the opening tip, as Newton got out to a quick 2-0 lead on a layup by senior Keion Sims. Newton held a 6-3 advantage, but back-to-back three pointers from Francis and Henderson gave the Eagles a 9-6 lead. The Eagles held on their advantage after the first period, taking a 13-10 leading into the second quarter.

The Rams scored the first points of the second quarter on a 3-pointer from freshman Darvin Jones that tied the game at 13-13. The Eagles gained the lead back on a layup by Larry Saxton, which also led to a free- throw by Saxton to give the Eagles a three-point lead.

The Eagles extended their lead to 20-13 after consecutive layups by Henderson and forward Jamal Hardge.
Newton went on an 8-0 run to regain the lead, but Francis nailed a jumper before the break, giving the Eagles a 22-21 lead at halftime.

Both teams came into the third quarter trading baskets. The first points came on a layup by Henderson, but Newton senior Jalen Glover tied the game up at 24-24 after a 3-pointer.

The Eagles went on a quick 4-0 run after back-to-back baskets by Francis and forward Daniel Oduah, but the Rams responded with a 6-0 run on back-to-back layups by junior D.J. Hill and senior Taylor Hawkins. Hill also knocked
down a pair of free throws during the Rams’ run.

The Eagles regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Henderson, but the Rams responded with a shot by Glover. The back-and-forth pattern continued for the rest of the quarter, but a 3-pointer by Henderson gave the Eagles a 39-36 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles began the final quarter with a 7-0 run on a 3-pointer by Henderson, and back-to-back layups by Hardge and junior guard Marquise Sims, pushing their lead to 10.

The Rams responded by trimming the lead to seven on a 3-pointer by Jones, but the Eagles increased their lead back to 10 after a layup and free throw make by Francis.

The Rams continued to fight to get back into the game, but the Eagles pulled away late and came out with a 58-49 victory.

“We always play hard on defense,” Eastside coach Gregory Freeman said. “Every time we step on the court we put in hard, hard work.”

The Rams shot 8-of-19 from the free-throw line and shot 35 percent for the game.

“We didn’t do a good enough job of keeping our discipline and running our offense,” Rams coach Rick Rasmussen said. “You have to give them credit. They made a lot of shots. I thought (Henderson’s) two shots from real deep were a real factor in the momentum.”

Francis joined Henderson in double figures, as the two combined for 32 of the Eagles’ 58 points. Twelve of Henderson’s 20 points came on 3-pointers.

Newton returns to action in region play Friday at home against Lovejoy, while the Eagles travel to Chestatee to take on the War Eagles.