Eastside tops Gainesville
Published: Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 10:43 p.m.
Minutes before Wednesday night's matchup between cross-town and district rivals Gainesville and Eastside, first-year Hurricane coach Deanna Majeski approached the Rams' Kent Johnson and told him that her girls were going to give his No. 2 (Class 4A) Eastside Rams a real tough game. She was right, but only halfway.
With emotions running high on both squads, Gainesville took advantage of miscues by Eastside and led 12-9 after a sluggish first quarter. The Rams settled in a little in the second half, but the Hurricanes were still giving the undefeated Rams (19-0, 8-0) all they could handle and trailed only 24-19 at the half.
At the half, Johnson demanded that his girls come out and execute and that is exactly what they did, blowing the game open with a 20-5 run that carried into the fourth quarter and led to a 54-36 Rams victory.
"We always get too hyped when we play them," Johnson said. "We go at each other hard and they certainly don't back down just because we're supposed to be the bigger dog this year.
In this rivalry you can throw the records out. Fortunately we got into our game and it was enough."
Ashley McDonald led the way for Eastside with 14 points, but it was her five assists and passing that took center stage. She was able to create open looks and mismatches by drawing double teams on penetration, allowing teammates like Latoya Williams to flourish underneath. Williams added 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
"We know each other well and so we play hard," McDonald said. "All of our girls contributed tonight and that was important."
Gainesville did not come out with the same intensity in the second half as the first, where they were able to handle the Rams press. After the half, the Eastside press forced the Hurricanes into turnovers and quick shots which was to the Rams' advantage.
"They have a great team but we have to play 32 minutes," said Majeski, whose team fell to 8-10, 5-5. "It is intimidating for our girls to come here, but we outplayed them in the first half."
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