CONYERS, Ga. - The Eastside Eagles (16-5, 7-4 region 4-AAAA) went on the road and fell to the Salem Seminoles (11-10, 7-3 region 4-AAAA) in a 57-44 game that gave the victorious Seminoles a complete hold on second place in the region.
With Eastside's 44 points being their second-lowest output of the season, head coach Michael Gerald knows that they needed more guys to step up and help out leading scorer Myles Rice, who finished with 20 points and was the only Eagle to reach double digits.
"Guys just got to step up. Myles was trying to do what he can with the ball in his hand, but now teams are just trying to take the ball out of his hand, so we need other guys to answer the bell," Gerald said.
The Eagles lost a tough 63-61 game the night before against North Clayton that was decided in the last 20 seconds of the contest, and Gerald believes the frustration from that game may have carried over into this performance.
"Today, I think it was a culmination of things. Losing a tough game last night, playing with a lot of energy, and knowing you should have won the game and then coming in here and playing another tough game was part of the issue," Gerald said.
The Eagles just never got it going from the field, and Gerald cited that his teams have never shot well in the Seminoles gym and that the shape of the gym does create an odd shooting environment for his teams, but that was not an excuse for the loss.
This makes two straight losses for the Eagles in region play and drops them on the outside looking in for one of the top two spots. With three region games remaining on the schedule, Gerald remains hopeful that his guys can turn it around and put a few more W's up to close out the season.
"Just keep your heads up, we just made the grind a little bit tougher," Gerald said that was the main message to his team after the game.
"They've got to come in and work hard on Monday and try not to make it three losses in a row in the region. We played them(Luella) a week ago, and we're going to play them again, and we're going to start to try to make the necessary adjustments, and guys got to step up and come out somehow with a win," Gerald said.
The Eagles will go on the road and face the Luella Lions (8-13, 3-8 region 4-AAAA) on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with the hope of earning a crucial region win in the late stages of the season.