The win was a huge Region 4-3A victory for the Trojans as they are trying to keep pace with an opportunity to finish first with two games left to play in the regular season. The triumph pushed East Side to 16-8 overall with a 6-2 mark in the region.
"This was a big win for us tonight,” East Side head coach Leroy Cotton said. “They beat us at their place and tonight we came out and played good ball and we picked up the win. Now, we have given ourselves a chance to still finish first, but we have to win out in order to do that.”
The Trojans will travel to Ruleville to face the Ruleville Central Tigers Tuesday in another region contest. East Side beat Ruleville 59-46 in a region game on Jan. 18 in Cleveland. The Trojans will return home after that to play Velma Jackson on Friday. Velma Jackson defeated East Side 34-31 in their previous meeting in Camden.
"We feel good about our chances of winning out,” Cotton said. “We played Ruleville pretty good the first time, and we play pretty good at home so we should have a better showing against Velma Jackson when they come to town.”
The Trojans and the Mustangs came out in the first quarter playing up-tempo basketball, but it was East Side's half court offensive execution that proved beneficial in giving the Trojans a 20-16 first quarter lead.
East Side's Jon Paul Davis was huge in the game and started the second quarter with the team's first two baskets to stake the Trojans to a 24-18 lead with six minutes left in the first half.
Davis and the Trojans went into halftime leading 34-24. Davis finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
"Jon Paul had a big night for us,” Cotton said. “I have been begging him to be more assertive on offense and finishing around the rim. He has started to do that. Last game, he had 20 points and tonight he gave us a double-double. He's starting to really play up to his potential.”
The Trojans led McClain 44-34 going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth leading 46-36, East Side put together a string of baskets from Davis and Charles Jackson to increase the Trojans’ lead to 53-36.
Despite 14 turnovers in the second half, East Side maintained control of the game and kept McClain at bay as they won the contest.
Jackson finished the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Perry Henry helped the Trojans’ cause with eight points.