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PREP BASKETBALL: Eagles split region opener
Eastside boys net 56-50 win over Region 8-AAAAA Apalachee, Lady Eagles fall
EHS Girls
Head coach Gladys King discusses strategy with her team during a timeout against Apalachee on Friday, Dec. 10. - photo by M. Chesny Young
EHS Boys 1
Eastside’s Raje Benton (4) scores over Apalachee’s Neville Brathwaite (10) on Friday, Dec. 10. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

WINDER, Ga. – It was Eastside’s Region 8-AAAAA opener when it traveled to Apalachee on Friday night. In game one, the Lady Eagles lost 46-27 whereas, in game two, the Eagles came out on top 56-50. 

Lady Eagles

Despite the loss for the girl’s team, the Lady Eagles showed some progress. 

It started with a strong opening quarter. 

Kristy Alvare drilled two three pointers and the Lady Eagles hustle-laden defense kept Apalachee’s offense mute. At the end of the quarter, Eastside led 9 - 7.

A 21-point second quarter by Apalachee swung momentum back in its direction before the half. The high-scoring output was led by easy fast break layups mainly by Avery Akin. 

At halftime the score was Apalachee 28 - Eastside 14.

Head coach Gladys King made a defensive switch at the half. King switched to a “Box and 1” formation which allowed Shankeria Reid to constantly guard against Akin’s transition scoring. 

Despite the hustle and effort, the Lady Eagles could not mount a serious comeback despite the halftime change. 

But Eastside did have a positive moment. 

Lizzie Teasley, who’s been sidelined with a hip flexor injury all season, received some playing time on Friday. King recognized the impact Teasley has as a senior leader. 

“When Lizzie is out there,” King said. “I can worry about coaching what I need to coach and I trust her to handle the rest.”


Immediately following the loss, the boy’s basketball team took the court. 

As is the case so far this season, the Eagles got off to a slow start on offense. But their third quarter production propelled the Eagles to victory. 

After only scoring 16 points in the first 16 minutes, the Eagles found their stride

They began the second half in a full court press defense that forced the first Wildcat turnovers of the night. Then Raj Benton began drilling two-point shots from the top of the key. Benton led all scorers with 23 points. Bo Reid, Tim Porter and Kassen Saunders also contributed to the monster 18-point third quarter that shifted the direction of the basketball game.

The fourth quarter saw multiple lead changes. 

Eastside’s point guard Reid put up eight points in the fourth quarter and, in the end, Eastside’s size, skill and momentum propelled them to a six-point victory.

Head coach Dorrian Randolph addressed his team’s sluggish start after the game. 

“We have a few offensive sets that we will implement this week in practice,” Randolph said. “Our team’s offense is dependent upon Benton, so finding him open looks early in the game may be the key for us.”

Friday’s win improved the Eagles above .500 at 4-3 and, more importantly, they begin 1-0 in region play. Meanwhile, for the Lady Eagles, they drop to 1-5 overall.