Two undefeated 5-6 grade basketball teams met Thursday night as Centertown’s Lady Warriors played host to Eastside’s Lady Bulldogs. When the dust settled, Eastside came away with a 22-11 win.
The dust could have been from the many turnovers by Centertown (4-1) or the pressing defense of Eastside (4-0), but whatever the cause, Centertown just gave away too many chances and Eastside took advantage of them by scoring points.
Centertown didn’t have an answer for the offensive threat of Eastside’s dynamic duo of Emeri Cummings and Shelby Smartt. Cummings had access to rebounds all night and started the offense or scored, depending on which side of the court she was on. Smartt played smart as she brought the ball down at a consistent pace as the Lady Warriors didn’t press much on defense.
The teams were tied 4-4 after the first quarter, but Eastside pulled away 15-4 in the second. After three quarters of play, the score was 16-7, which kept Centertown in the ballgame as the win was still up for grabs. Still playing conservative defense cost the Lady Warriors in the end as it was consistency on Eastside's part which put the game out of reach for Centertown.
“We’ve been working on a defensive shift for three weeks now,” said Centertown Lady Warrior head coach Kelly Eckenrod. “We just failed to initiate. We played with a lot of heart ... Eastside’s a good team.”
Heading up scoring for Centertown was Lady Warrior Madison Johnson with 6 points, Alyssa Mosley with 3 and Addison Johnson bucketed 2 points.
“I don’t think we played to our full potential,” said Eastside Lady Bulldog head coach Shae Hodges. “We’ve got to play smart. They gave it all they had in the fourth quarter which pulled us through. That’s what usually happens. We get over falling apart and pull ourselves together for the win in the end.”
Hitting the hoop for the Lady Bulldogs were Cummings with 8 points, Smartt and Sable Winfree both posted 6 and Savannah Winfree hit for 2 points.