The Eastside High School boys’ basketball team hit the end of the road Monday night when it suffered a 61-53 loss to North Clayton in the opening round of the Region 4-AAAA tournament at McDonough High School.
The defeat effectively brought the Eagles’ 2019-20 campaign to a close. They finished the year at 17-9 overall.
“Obviously it’s a disappointment,” Eastside head coach Michael Gerald said. “We didn’t see ourselves in that position throughout the season, and it’s a shocker.”
Eastside dug itself into a hole early on against North Clayton. The Eagles struggled to knock down open looks, and the offense looked sluggish as a result. They eventually found a rhythm in the second half and made it a competitive game, but the deficit proved to be too large to overcome.
The Eagles’ 2019-20 season came to an end on a sour note. After storming out to a 16-3 start, they closed out the year by dropping six of their final seven contests.
“You start your season with so much hope and promise. And, for the most part, we played a lot of good basketball,” Gerald said. “We had some injuries at the end to some key players, and that obviously kind of set us back. But we felt like we had individuals on our team that could step up and not necessarily fill the total void, but [demonstrate] that ‘next man up’ mentality. When it didn’t happen, it was just a disappointment for it to end the way it did.”