That was the message the Lady Spartans wanted to deliver Wednesday night in a 73-50 district win over the J.I. Burton Lady Raiders at Stan Wilson Gymnasium.
“Going on the road is tough, but you can’t win (the district) unless you beat all the teams in it,” said Eastside coach Barry Ruff. “We’re the district champs, and I don’t care who they pick. We’re the district champs until somebody beats us, and we’ve got to play that way. We’ve got to have that mentality.
“We’ve got to play with that mentality that we’re the best and we’ve just got to play that way.”
Eastside (7-4, 1-0) and Burton battled close throughout the first half with the exception of a 10-0 scoring run by the Lady Spartans to start the second quarter and put Eastside up 30-18.
Burton (6-5, 0-1) battled back over the final 4:30 of the second quarter to cut the Eastside lead to 37-31 by halftime.
The Lady Spartans opened up the second half with a 7-0 scoring run to build a 44-31 advantage.
This time Eastside held on to the lead. Burton never could cut into the Lady Spartans advantage as Eastside slowly pulled away.
Haylee Yates led Eastside with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Anna Whited finished with 14 points and five assists.
Haley Fleming added 14 for Eastside and Chloe Powers had 13.
Maggie Williams led Burton with 15 points, while Kaylee Jenkins finished with 14.
The Cumberland advantage went to Eastside and came by way of the free throw line.
The Spartans (11-1, 1-0) went 4-for-6 at the line in the last 43 seconds of the game to take a 74-72 Cumberland District boys basketball win over the Raiders.
Eastside’s Connor Blevins hit one of two free throws with 43 seconds left to give the Spartans a 71-70 lead. Twenty seconds later, Nick Livingston put Eastside up by two points by hitting one of two free throws.
The Spartans sealed the win when Blevins hit two more free throws with :07 left to play in the contest.
Burton (6-3, 0-1) made a basket as time expired to make it a two-point loss.
Livingston led a quartet of Eastside players in double-figure scoring with 26 points.
Ethan Powers finished with 14 for the Spartans, while J.R. Kilgore had 12 and Blevins ended with 10.
For Burton, Caleb Williams finished with 31 points and Zac Campbell had 12.