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NEWROCK SHOWCASE: Both Eastside squads come up short against Rockdale
Michael Gerald will begin his third tour as Eastside's boys basketball coach, according to a message from Eastside athletic director Phil Davidson. - photo by Tom White

Saturday turned out to be a smorgasbord of high school hoops action at the Newton High School gym, thanks to the first annual NewRock Basketball Showcase.

The showcase pitted all six Georgia High School Association Schools from Newton and Rockdale counties in three sets of matchups between each girls and boys squad. What it was was 10 hours of local basketball action that climaxed with the No. 5 Newton boys and their nationally top-ranked point guard prospect, Ashton Hagans, putting on a show with the Heritage Patriots.

Newton boys coach, Rick Rasmussen, said the event was well received by the community, and should build momentum as it continues.

“Overall, I think the first ever NewRock Showcase was a tremendous success,” he said. “We had some entertaining games, and a big crowd and we’ll be looking forward to next season’s event at Rockdale High School’s gym.”

Desiree Ellison Helps Lady Bulldogs Get Double-Digit Win over Eastside

COVINGTON, Ga. -- Desiree Ellison led all scorers with 13 points as the Bulldogs beat Eagles 60-42.

They tried to set the tone early as Ellison hit a long three-pointer from the top of the arc for the first score of the game. Eastside’s Chasity Smith raced back down the court for a missed layup, but Alysee Dobbs grabbed the offensive rebound and went back up for a strong putback.

The score went back and forth early in the first quarter, and Rockdale took a 16-15 lead to end the quarter. The teams continued trading buckets for the most part, and they stayed within about two points of each other.

Eastside's Chasity Smith skies for a rebound during the Lady Eagles' matchup with Rockdale in Saturdays NewRock Basketball Showcase. - photo by Tom White

Ellison grabbed a defensive rebound, went coast-to-coast and euro stepped an Eagle in the paint for a layup. Eastside came down and worked the ball around the perimeter then went in for a missed layup, but Eagles’ post player Dasia Burgess grabbed the rebound and went back up for the score to bring it to 20-19 in the second quarter.

That was the last time Eastside would get that close to a tie or lead. Rockdale’s Olivia Tomlinson hit two free throws to cap a 9-1 run to end the half and bring the score to 30-20 in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.

Five Bulldogs scored in double digits as they began to light up the fourth quarter. They continued to add to their lead, extending it to as many as 22 points as late as the 2:44 in the fourth.

Ellison lead all scorers with 13 points, and guard Shaquice May chipped in with 12 points.

Rockdale boys rout Eastside in NewRock Showcase

The Rockdale Bulldogs came in on a mission to win. But they did more than just win; they demolished the Eastside Eagles, 95-44.

The Bulldogs started the game on a high note with an alley-oop slam dunk to Sundiata Washington to take a 4-2 lead early in the first quarter. They never allowed the Eagles get that close to a tie or lead for the rest of the night.  

Rockdale's Sundiata Washington skies for one of his two dunks during Saturday's NewRock Showcase matchup with Eastside. - photo by Tom White

Sayvon Traylor got hot early after hitting back-to-back free throws for his first two points. After a turnover by Eastside, he raced back down the court, called for the ball and hit a nothing-but-net three pointer in front of the Eagles’ bench. He stared them down shaking his head as he back peddled down the court.

On the very next possession, following an Eagles’ turnover, the Bulldogs set up their offense and Traylor called for the ball again in the paint. He posted up his defender and then hit a turnaround jumper.

Traylor said he was feeling it early.

“I had a good game last night, so I was really confident in my shot tonight,” Traylor said. He went 4-for-4 from the perimeter and dropped 18 points in the blowout.

They denied passes and played lockdown defense forcing the Eagles to take awkward shots. The first quarter ended with a lopsided 24-9 Rockdale lead.

The second quarter was no different. Several Eagles turnovers and defensive rebounds by the Bulldogs led to breakaway layups and pull up three-pointers. Traylor hit two more threes, and at halftime the 15-point lead swelled into a 30 point, 49-19 gap.

In the second half, the Rockdale continued to pour on the points and increased the lead to 45 after Torezz Alexander added a putback two-pointer to bring the score to 76-31 in the third.

After only scoring 14 points against Meadowcreek in their first game of the season, head coach Tyrone King just wanted his team to get better.

“I really just wanted shots to fall tonight and get points in transition,” King said after the game.

Cameron Wilson and Washington both added 12 points to the win.

Rockdale improves to 3-1 on the season and will take on the Therrell Panthers (1-1) on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Meanwhile, a young and inexperienced Eastside squad falls to 0-3, and will look for its first victory against winless Woodward Academy on Tuesday, Nov. 28.