BY DOUG GORMAN
The East Coweta Indians came out firing on all cylinders Tuesday night at home in the Region 2-7A contest with Campbell and it translated into an easy 95-49 victory.
East Coweta built a 25-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
The Indians used their up-tempo offense and some stingy defense to build the momentum against the Spartans.
East Coweta pushed the lead to 16-1 at one stage of the first quarter and held the Spartans without a field goal in the first eight minutes of the game as all of Campbell’s first-quarter points came from the free throw line.
The Indians pulled away from the Spartans with four 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Brandon Stroud, who hit the game winner at the buzzer Friday night against Therrell in the non-region contest, picked up right where he left off, connecting on two of the long-range jumpers in the first quarter.
Chris Youngblood and Fermandez Jones added one 3-point shot each in the first quarter.
The trio all finished in double figures for the Indians, who have a quick turnaround in region play.
East Coweta hosts Wheeler tonight in a battle for second place in 2-7A behind Pebblebrook. Pebblebrook defeated Wheeler 68-67 on Tuesday among a previous battle between the two remaining unbeaten teams in the region.
Against Campbell, Stroud led the way for the Indians with all of his 20 points coming in the first half. Jones added 18 and Youngblood 16 en route to the victory.
With the win, East Coweta improved its record to 16-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. Campbell dropped to 10-6 overall and 0-4 in region play.
East Coweta head coach Royal Maxwell is building something special.
Since taking over the program four years ago, the Indians have improved every year.
This season, he has the Indians ranked in the Class 7A Top 10.
“The energy around basketball has gone to another level,” Maxwell said. “A lot of that energy stems from football and the other athletes that are in the building supporting what we are doing We are all working hand in hand. To support one another.”
After failing to convert a field goal in the first quarter, the Spartans finally got their first shot to drop with 6:27 left in the first half when Malik Mercer hit a shot to cut the score to 27-9.
Both teams spent plenty of time at the free throw line after more than 20 fouls were called putting both teams in the double bonus by the end of the second quarter.
East Coweta increased the lead to 41-25 heading into the second half.
The Indians hit seven of eight free throw in the second quarter and also relied on a 3-point shot from Isaiah
Richardson to extend the lead at the end of the first half.
East Coweta outscored Campbell 54-24 in the second half.
Three pointers by Jones and Richardson in third quarter helped spark the Indians’ second-half offensive fireworks.
The Spartans finished the game with just 15 field goals.
Mercer led the way with 11 points for the Spartans who left East Coweta still looking for their first region win.
East Coweta extended its winning streak to eight in a row.
East Coweta has proven to be hard to beat at home. With Tuesday’s win against Campbell, the Indians are 5-0 on their own court.
Following tonight’s game against Wheeler (14-5, 4-1), the Indians also have a region home game against Pebblebrook next week. The Falcons handed the the Indians their only loss earlier this year when the two teams played in Cobb County.
“It’s like I told the guys, somebody is going to have to lose those games and it is not going to be us,” said Maxwell. “We don’t lose on our home court.”
LADY INDIANS FALL TO LADY SPARTANS: The East Coweta Lady Indians fell to 4-12 overall and 1-3 in region play with a 70-33 loss to visiting Campbell.
Campbell built a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Five players scored for the Lady Spartans in the first eight minutes of the game and Campbell never looked back.
With the win, the Lady Spartans increased their lead to 11-6 overall and 3-1 in Region 2 7A competition.
Amya Walker had a 3-pointer for the Lady Indians in the first quarter.
Campbell pushed the lead to 39-15 at the break
The Lady Indians were held to just three shots from the field in the second quarter as Leiya Reeves, Pashience Collier and Alex Colton connected on shots for East Coweta.
Campbell pushed it to 61-23 at the end of the third quarter.
Despite trailing by 38 heading into the final period, the Lady Indians’ Katy Fuller gave East Coweta a boost, scoring six of the team’s 10 fourth-quarter points.
Jada Alston had 12 points for Campbell.
East Coweta’s London Fowler and Amya Walker each had a 3-pointer and finished with seven each to pace the Lady Indians.