COVINGTON, Ga. - On Tuesday night, two county rivals battled it out on the hardwood. It was the Newton Rams, though, who came out triumphant over the Eastside Eagles 60-50.
But it was an intense final eight minutes to finish the game.
Leading as many as 20 points at one point, the Eagles’ scrappy play kept them in the game for the majority of the contest.
Eastside outscored the Rams 22-14 in the fourth quarter to shrink Newton’s lead.
After the game, head coach Charlemagne Gibbons was disappointed in his team’s performance down the stretch.
“We just didn’t play well,” Gibbons said. “It’s a mental thing for us. When you’ve got talent, your body grows and you get bigger, the next part that has to come is the mental approach to the game. We didn’t have that tonight.”
Even so, the Rams improved to 7-0 with the win with an array of players scoring points on Tuesday.
Daniel Pounds, the team’s leading scorer, had 15 points. Marquavious Brown was the only other Ram to score double digits with 10.
Stephon Castle and Marcus Whitlock accounted for nine points each while Jakai Newton had eight.
Newton’s next matchup was on Friday night against Green Forest High School.
On the other side of the court for Eastside, they kept battling until the very end.
Whether it was a 3-pointer by Jacquez Williams, or a steal from Brentarious Reed to start a fast break, the Eagles made things interesting down the stretch.
Williams led the Eagles with nine points while Reed recorded eight. Timothy Prather tallied eight as well and Saabir Berrian had three points.
But it was a case of too little too late to overcome the huge deficit.
Up next for the Eagles is Apalachee on Friday night. It’ll be Eastside’s region opener as they look to improve above .500 currently sitting at 3-3 overall.
Head coach Dorrian Randolph wants to see the amount of effort his team brought on Tuesday to carry over against Apalachee.
“[Tuesday’s game] shows them that they can play with anybody,” Randolph said. “I mean, this is the No. 1 team in Georgia according to multiple outlets and you lost by five buckets. We can play with anybody.”