Staff photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith Eastside's Anthony Henderson attempts to get past Alexander's Lemarcus Frazier in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Wednesday.
COVINGTON -- Alexander may not have been bigger or faster than Eastside's boys basketball team. But turnovers and fouls made it seem that way as the Cougars shut down the Eagles' offense ending Eastside's season with a 72-59 loss in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Wednesday.
Trouble started early for the home team as their shots were not falling only making two of their first nine shots. While two were from outside, the rest were in the paint as the ball just bounced off the rim or circled the iron before falling harmlessly away.
The Eagles turned the ball over in three of their first four possessions and gave up several easy baskets allowing the Cougars to take a 25-16 lead. Alexander continued to take advantage of Eastside's mistakes as they extended their lead to 20 points, 50-30, with 4:37 left in the third period.
"They had a lot of layups. All I know is that we didn't get in our sets and we settled for jump shots against a smaller team," said Eastside head coach Greg Freeman. "A team where we should have been banging the boards. We just didn't do that. You can't come out and do exactly the opposite of what I told them what to do.
"Our depth, or lack of it, was a key. The guys coming off the bench again did not do what we asked them to do. Treyvon (Francis) and those guys may be winding down. We've been running and gunning all year long,"
Even though the Eagles had four players in double-digit scoring led by Anthony Henderson (14), Quindarrious Russell (12), Chavis Williams (11) and Francis (12), Alexander's top three scorers combined for 52 points. Karim Mawuenyega led all scorers with 24 points followed by Lemarcus Frazier with 20 and Mikell Lands with eight.
"I'm trying to change the way these kids understand what basketball is," Freeman said. "I guess with these guys are still a work in progress."