The question may not be if the Eastside 7-8 grade boys basketball can win every game this season. It may be by how much the Bulldogs are victorious by on a nightly basis.
After winning the preseason Morrison Ruritan tournament and Woodbury Classic, the Eastside Bulldogs have started the elementary regular season with two blowout victories.
The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 Monday night with a 67-44 victory over the Dibrell Wildcats, which followed a 29-point win over Boyd on opening night Nov. 29.
Beating the Bulldogs won’t be easy for any other elementary team, especially when Eastside controls the glass with its twin towers.
Tyler Beaty and Hunter Hawkins destroyed Dibrell on the backboards to power the Bulldogs to victory over their biggest rivals.
Beaty scored 16 points, most coming on tip-ins after misses, while Hawkins led Eastside with 18 points against the Wildcats.
Beaty got the scoring started Monday with a run-out layup caused by Eastside’s stout 1-3-1 defense. The basket ignited a 17-2 run for the Bulldogs, with Beaty scoring six during the span. Hawkins added four, while Dakota Nunley supplied outside shooting for Eastside with a 3-pointer.
Dibrell got an early basket from Austin Higgins, then Trey Cantrell ended the first quarter with a layup as the Wildcats went to the first break trailing 17-4 at home.
The layup seemed to spark Cantrell as the lanky eighth-grade guard led a Dibrell resurgence in the second period. Cantrell scored 13 points in the quarter, including burying three 3-pointers in a row, as the Wildcats clawed back in the game. Malachi Barrett added six points in the period as Dibrell closed the gap to 29-25 at halftime.
Eastside came out of the locker rooms on fire to end all hopes of a Wildcat comeback. Beaty and Hawkins each scored six points in the third period, while Raleigh Woods’ three-point play helped the Bulldogs build their lead to double digits.
Cantrell tried to keep Dibrell in contention with seven points in the period, including sinking his fourth 3-pointer, but Dibrell found itself down 50-34 entering the final quarter.
After going up 20 early in the fourth quarter, Eastside emptied its bench in the final minutes. Tyler Pomales came off the pine to score five points as he hit a 3-pointer and a layup in the final minute.
Nunley joined Beaty and Hawkins in double digits with 10 points. Woods and Alex Yates added eight points apiece, followed by Pomales with five. Tyler Jennings and Mitchell Stembridge scored two points each.
Cantrell led Dibrell with a game-high 24 points. Rounding out the Wildcat scoring was Barrett with seven, Higgins and Jaeden Pyburn with four each, Noah Campbell and Dillon Jones with two apiece and Lee Randolph with one.
In other boys elementary action, Irving College defeated Centertown 32-29 to stay undefeated this season.
Luke Martin led the Tigers to their second victory with 17 points. Chance Hobbs was next with nine.
Freddie Trevino, Lucas Patrick and Jeffery McCormick each had two points for Irving College in the win.
Colton Smith scored 15 points in a losing effort for the Eagles. Brayton Kelsey and Justin Holt added five points apiece, followed by Rylan Sliger and Ethan Smith with two points each.