The Eastside girls basketball team is defined by its youth.
The Eagles have three seniors on their 13-player squad — by contrast, they have three freshmen and an eighth-grader. But through five games, veteran coach Cindy Mattos-DeHart was very pleased with the direction her team (4-1) had taken.
“We’re very young,” Mattos-DeHart said. “And at times it shows in the decision-making. But overall, considering the youth on that team, they’ve got a bright future.”
While all three seniors — Ivey Macomson, Quay Scott and Sydney Smith — start, there is no shortage of younger contributors. Destiny Thompson, who scored 13 points in the Eagles’ 41-20 win against Riverside, is a junior. Jessica Garlington, who also scored 13 against Riverside, is a sophomore.
Mattos-DeHart counts both among the team’s leaders.
“Ivey Macomson is a four-year starter and she’s just doing an excellent job leading the team,” she said. “Destiny Thompson works so hard. She never stops. That kindles the fire for the other girls.
“Jessica Garlington is a definite plus for us from the perimeter. Our post player is a freshman as well. And Sydney Smith (who had six steals against Riverside), she’s relentless, and that’s one of the positives of our team. They never quit. They just stay after you. They work and work, and that’s going to pay dividends for us later on.”
Against Riverside, Mattos-DeHart thought her team “played four strong quarters” but got great momentum and quickly built on an 11-1 first-quarter lead and made good decisions.
Turnovers have been an issue for her team, but they weren’t a major problem against the Warriors.
“What we were trying to do was reduce our turnovers. We were in double figures (coming in), and we did a better job,” she said. “The other thing we’re concerned with is our free-throw shooting. That’s a gimme right there in the ballgame. You’ve got to make your free throws, and making free throws helps us at the end.”