McDONOUGH, Ga. - The Eastside Lady Eagles fell on the road against the McDonough Lady Warhawks in a tough 64-54 game that was close except in one quarter of the contest.
The Lady Eagles led coming out of the halftime break and seemed to be in control after a strong first half of play. However, that would come to an end in the third quarter where the Lady Warhawks outscored the Lady Eagles 28-9.
The third quarter was back and forth at the start, but a surprising technical foul called on a member of the Lady Eagles coaching staff seemed to flip momentum. With the Lady Warhawks leading by 3 and Lady Eagles moving up the court after the inbound, the technical foul was called.
According to Lady Eagles head coach Gladys King, they simply voiced to the referee that there was a missed traveling call. The situation seemed calm by both parties, but a technical foul was quickly called, and the Eagles' 3-point deficit quickly grew from that point.
The Lady Warhawks hit both free throws and then inbounded the ball and hit a 3 to give them an 8-point lead. The Lady Eagles were not able to mount a comeback, and the Lady Warhawks continued to control the game after that point.
Frustration could be felt from King concerning the officiating during her team's game. It did not help the fact that there was a member of the officiating crew that also played a part in the Lady Eagles "controversial" loss to Woodward Academy in the region tournament last season.
Despite tough calls on the Lady Eagles, King was pleased that her team continued to fight until the final buzzer.
"I don't fault my girls; they fought hard. There are always things we always have work hard and improve at," said King. "I told them, 'We have eight more minutes in this game, you can either fold or give it all you got,' and they came out, and they started trying to fight there more in the end."
Even on a tough night like this loss, the Lady Eagles did have a bright spot with the excellent scoring of Ja'Miyra Smith. Smith knocked down three shots from beyond the arc and was the Lady Eagles leading scorer with 13 points. King was very pleased with her play on a tough night.
"I was pleased with her and her effort tonight. There were some times that we need to work a little bit harder on getting in the right position and being where we need to be on the floor," said King. "As far as her coming back and being a part of our offense and moving the ball down the floor, I was very pleased with her.
Lady Eagles T'Niah Douglas also reached double digits on the night as she finished with 11 points.
This was another tough region loss for the Lady Eagles, but they have an opportunity to bounce back soon as they will take on the North Clayton Lady Eagles at home on Friday, Dec. 6.