Although it's only been a few games, the Eastside boys’ basketball has stopped its winning ways and it could mean trouble for the playoffs.
The Eagles are 13-4 (7-2 Region 4-AAAA) as of Friday afternoon, but haven't been able to beat any of the top teams in the region in their last two games. They were blown out by Eagle's Landing and couldn't make a fourth-quarter comeback after trailing by 18 entering the final quarter against Walnut Grove.
Defense hasn't been Eastside’s calling card all season, it has been their offense. An offense that only scored less than 60 points twice in the first 15 games hasn't crossed the 60-point mark in the last two contests.
Against Walnut Grove on Tuesday, the Eagles scored just 55 points but 34 of them came from lead-guard Isaiah Miller and 12 from Keondre Perry.
Only four Eagles scored in the contest, but the significant non-scorer was usual third-leading scorer Joshua Cammon who didn't convert on any of his open three-point attempts or crafty drives to the basket.
It wasn't just Cammon, the entire Eagle offense struggled outside of Miller and Perry didn't get it going until the fourth quarter. Against Eagle’s Landing more than one week ago, Eastside mustered up only 49 points in a 76-49 slaughter.
The offense caters to the team’s ability to make shots and lately they haven't been making shots.
“We’re going through an ebb and flow. Everything is relying on one player. Isaiah’s really getting it done for us, but we’re just not getting that support,” Brent Wren, Eagles’ head coach, said.
“They’re (shots) just not falling. What was falling in the beginning, is just not falling,” he added. “I think some of it is fatigue and I think school schedule and everything else, we’re just not getting the shots up like we need to. We didn’t get the practice in. I think the other thing that hurt us is not playing all the way through the holiday break.”
Most teams play through the winter break, but the Eagles went two weeks without playing anyone after their match against Effingham County on December 23. Wren inherited the schedule from last year, but says this year has shown him that it’d benefit the team to keep playing through the winter.
Eastside will turn things around when they start hitting shots, but until then it’s going to be a long winter.