The Eastside girls varsity basketball team hosted the Lady Indians of Lumpkin County Friday night, and in a surprising outcome, Lumpkin County squeaked by the Lady Eagles 49-44.
“They were tougher than we were,” Eastside coach Matthew Jackson said. “They out-rebounded us, they were more physical, they hit us in the mouth, and we didn’t respond that (well).”
The Lady Indians scored the first points of the game, but the first quarter was mainly dominated by the Lady Eagles, who had six straight points from senior forward Zaria Barton.
But the Lady Indians answered with a 6-0 run to regain the lead.
The back-and-forth action continued, with the Lady Eagles carriying an 11-10 lead into the second quarter.
The first points of the second quarter came almost three minutes after the period began, on a 3-pointer from Barton that gave the Lady Eagles a four-point edge.
Lumpkin County rallied back, and it appeared as though the Lady Indians were going to take the lead into halftime, before a free throw by senior guard Deshantra Kelly tied the game at the half, 21-21.
The third quarter began with the two teams trading baskets, the first coming on a pair of layups by Lady Indians forward Lacey Robinson and Lady Eagles guard Adriana Spears.
It was a back-and-forth quarter, but the Lady Indians took control late to carry a 32-29 lead into the fourth quarter.
The first point of the final quarter was made on a free throw by Lady Eagles’ junior forward Rayneisha Clay, but the Lady Indians fired back with a quick 4-0 run.
The same pattern repeated itself: The Lady Indians took a 40-31 lead, but the Lady Eagles kept fighting. Eastside's forwards made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the game, but it was too late, and the Lady Indians won 49-44.
The Lady Indians were led in scoring by Dakota Sullens, who had 18 points.
The Lady Eagles were led by Barton, who finished with 14 points.
“(Zaria) had a good game as far as her hustle, but we need to have more than just one person,” Jackson said.
The Lady Indians were 1-14 on the season heading into their contest with the Lady Eagles.
Eastside returns to action Tuesday at home against Walnut Grove at 6 p.m.
Eastside returns to action Saturday when they travel to Newton to face the Lady Rams.
“We have to come out and play Newton like we did the first time with energy,” Jackson said.
Game time is set for 5 p.m.