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PREP BASKETBALL: Eagles pull away from Alcovy boys in overtime
EHS Boys win
Newton County rivals Alcovy and Eastside met on the hardwood for an instant classic Saturday. The Eagles were able to fend off the Tigers 61-52 in overtime. - photo by M. Chesny Young

COVINGTON, Ga. — It took an extra period, but the Eastside Eagles ultimately topped the Alcovy Tigers 61-52 on Saturday. 

Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the game went back-and-forth and came down to the wire. 

In the closing seconds, Ben Hodges of Eastside connected on a buzzer-beating layup to send the game to overtime tied at 49-all. 

From there, the Eagles took over and outscored the Tigers 12-3 with the win. Two 3-pointers in overtime seemed to seal the deal and put the game out of reach for Alcovy. 

Hodges led the Tigers in scoring with 23 points. A lot of his points came off put backs after collecting offensive rebounds. 

Assisting Hodges was fellow Tiger with three, 3-pointers that contributed nine points. 

Alcovy led at the half 28-23. 

Momentum shifted to Eastside in the second half.

Freshmen Tim Prather contributed 15 points, Raje Benton contributed 18 points and Kassen Saunders 17 points. Most of these totals were racked up in the second half and by the time the fourth quarter came around, the score was tied. 

Head coach Dorrian Randolph wasn’t shocked by a slow start for his offense. 

“We are notoriously a slow starting team,” Randolph said. “Our guys are out there getting to know each other. Most of our scoring has happened late in the games this season.”

Be that as it may, the Eagles did something that most teams never do: Score points before the game even starts. 

According to GHSA rules, no team is allowed to dunk 20 minutes prior to game time. Alcovy did so twice within that time frame and awarded Eastside four free throw attempts. 

So, at tip-off, Eastside led 3-0. 

With the win, the Eagles improve 3-2 overall. Alcovy drops to 1-7.