The East Jackson boys’ basketball team started strong and rode that energy to a lopsided win.
The Eagles (3-2) beat Flowery Branch 62-40 Monday (Dec. 28) in the first game of their holiday tournament after opening the contest with a 17-2 run.
“(I was) very pleased with our start tonight,” Eagle coach Jarvis Smith said. “The few games that we have played, we have not had good starts.”
Makayl Rakestraw scored 28 points with 10 rebounds in the win. Jarvis Smith II and Kendrick Carson each added 10 points. Demarcus Watson finished with eight points and eight rebounds. Coach Smith called the victory “a really good win” with his team dominating despite R.J. White, one of the team's top players, being out sick.
After scoring 17 of the first 19 points, East Jackson went on to take a 31-10 lead with three minutes left in the first half after a deep 3-pointer from Rakestraw, who knocked down six 3-pointers on the night. The Eagles led 34-17 at the break.
Rakestraw pushed the lead out to 39-19 when he knocked down a corner 3-pointer. Flowery Branch was unable to cut significantly into the lead in the third quarter, never coming closer than 14 points.
East Jackson warmed back up as Jarvis Smith II knocked down a 3-pointer late in the third quarter and one early in the fourth to push the lead out to 52-27. A pair of treys and a layup from Rakestraw gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the night at 60-27.
The 33-point advantage allowed Smith to play his entire bench.
“It’s always a good feeling for me as a coach when I’m able to play everyone,” Smith said. “Those kids show up and practice just has hard, if not harder, than the rotation guys.”
East Jackson hosts Mountain View Tuesday (Dec. 29) at 7:30 p.m.