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PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Eagles upset in opening round of region tournament
PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Eagles upset in opening round of region tournament
Despite entering the Region 4-AAAA tournament as the No. 3 seed, senior T'Niah Douglas and the Eastside High School girls' basketball team were eliminated in the first round Tuesday night. The Lady Eagles were upset by No. 6 Druid Hills, 50-40, at McDonough High School. - photo by Mason Wittner

MCDONOUGH, Ga. — The Eastside High School girls’ basketball team’s 2019-20 campaign drew to a disappointing close Tuesday night when the No. 3 Lady Eagles were upset by No. 6 Druid Hills, 50-40, in the opening round of the Region 4-AAAA tournament at McDonough High School.

Eastside held its own early in the opening quarter, but Druid Hills quickly seized all momentum and held an advantage at the end of all four periods. The Lady Red Devils dominated the paint, pulling down boards to create second-chance opportunities on the offensive end while also capitalizing on the Lady Eagles’ missed targets.

“We just got outhustled, outplayed. We didn’t come in to hustle,” Eastside head coach Gladys King said. “We didn’t box out and rebound; those are the things we worked on in practice. They wanted it a little bit more than we did. A lot more.”

The loss marks the end of the line for the Lady Eagles this season. They finished with an overall record of 14-9 while going 8-6 against region opponents in the regular season.

Eastside took the court Tuesday night without senior captain Alysee Dobbs, who was sidelined with soreness in her left lower leg. The absence of her presence had an undoubted affect in the defeat, but King insisted that she and her club would not be making any excuses for the outcome. 

King leaned on the rest of her team to seamlessly fill the void against Druid Hills, and they rose to the occasion several times throughout the night. However, they were ultimately unable to sustain that level of production for four quarters.

“We’re not a one-man team. Alysee does not make up Eastside basketball,” King said. “I just thought we could’ve done a little better with some of our post players. They’ve just got to come up, step up and play. So, it has nothing to do with Alysee Dobbs not playing… [Druid Hills] wanted it, and that’s why they won the game.”

The Lady Eagles’ final lead of the night was 7-6 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter. The Lady Red Devils jumped ahead with a layup at the 4:10 mark before forcing a turnover and capitalizing with an easy bucket, making it a 10-7 game with 2:41 to go.

Druid Hills went on to build up at 16-11 lead in the first quarter before trotting into the locker room with a 33-23 advantage.

The second half provided more of the same for both squads, with the Lady Red Devils stretching the point differential out to 17 in the fourth quarter before cruising to a 10-point victory.

No. 6 Druid Hills will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 6, to take on No. 2 Luella in the second round of the region tournament at McDonough High School. The game is slated to tip at 4 p.m.