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PREP BASKETBALL: Eastside squads looking for pre-region grind momentum in holiday tourneys
Alysee Dobbs
Eastside's Alysee Dobbs shoots a 3-pointer over Newton's Maka'ya Cushion during the first quarter of the Lady Eagles' 58-54 OT win over Newton last Saturday. -photo by Anthony Banks

COVINGTON, Ga — Christmas came early for Alysee Dobbs and the Eastside girls basketball team when the Lady Eagles’ 58-54 overtime win over Newton Saturday marked the first time in eight years Eastside knocked off the Lady Rams. 

In that game, Dobbs, a junior, scored a team-high 19 points while T’Niah Douglas chipped in 14. That win, coupled with a 60-40 victory over Trinity Christian in holiday tournament action. Those last two Ws lifted Eastside’s mark to 7-6 before spending the next couple of days in a tournament at Ola High in McDonough. 

After that, the team will have a little more than a week before their next game at Woodward Academy which also signals the beginning of the Region 4-AAAA grind. 

And that suits Dobbs just fine. She’s been in “get better” mode since the day after the Newton game when she spent part of her Sunday putting up shots and putting in work in Eastside’s gym.

The way she sees it, and the way her squad is playing and practicing right now, the opportunity to get in extra practice can only be a good thing. 

“Honestly, I’m just proud of my team,” Dobbs said. “We always work better when we all work together, and (Saturday night) it showed. We work so hard at practice and we push each other so much. We deserved that win.” 

Indeed, Dobbs isn’t the only one getting it done. In the Trinity Christian game, Dasia Burgess poured in 22 while Dobbs chipped in 15. While Dobbs, Douglas and Burgess sort of make up Eastside’s big three from a scoring standpoint, the heady play of freshman point guard Lizzie Teasley has also been key. 

“(The last two wins) shows that if we work how we can work, we can beat some of the best teams in this state, and we could really make it to state this year,” Dobbs said. “I feel like we have so much depth on the team this year that the Eastside Lady Eagles could really make some history.” 

Myles Rice

Eastside boys rebound from Rams loss

The Eastside boys basketball team (8-5, 4-3 in Region 4-AAAA)  is operating with a similar work ethic as the girls squad. Although the boys to Newton 74-70, it was still a pretty hard fought game, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter as some missed free throws by the Rams helped Eastside chop down a double-digit lead in the waning minutes. 

Myles Rice and Caleb Woods contributed 22 and 18 points, respectively, to the Eagles’ cause on Saturday. But in the Eagles’ 64-61 win against Loganville in the first round of the Commerce Classic in East Jackson, it was Jerry Mays (23 points) and Killien Glover (10 points) that paced them. 

The balanced attack has been one of the Eagles’ hallmarks, along with its fast paced, up-and-down style of play. They’ll be hoping it bodes well for them when they face the tournament’s host, East Jackson at 8:45 p.m. Friday night.