by Don Hiatt
The Eagles continued their winning ways Thursday night at Heritage in an exciting 61-59 win over the Patriots. Churubusco now improves to 4-1 on the season and will face Westview this Thursday at Churubusco for the conference lead.
The Eagles have reached this point by a great display of teamwork. In just about every game this season the Eagles have spread the scoring around and have had outstanding help from the players off the bench.
Against Heritage the Eagles fell behind early, down 17-11 after one quarter of play. But Churubusco fought back with seven players scoring in the second period. Dylan Herendeen drained two three-pointers to lead the Eagles as they took the lead 31-25 at the half.
Hunter Nicodemus hit five of five from the free-throw line and collected a bucket for seven third quarter points. Heritage took back the lead 46-43 by outscoring the Eagles 21-12 in the quarter. The Eagles were lead by Tavin Herendeen in the final stanza. Herendeen hit two three-pointers and a free throw for seven points. With the game tied with seconds remaining Josh LeFever hit a shot to give the Eagles the 61-59 victory over the Patriots.
Coach’s comments: “We got off to a slow start as Heritage came out really aggressive on defense. We were very sluggish on both ends of the court during the first quarter. Our second quarter was really good as we outscored them 20-8. They were doing some trapping and we were able to find our shooters open in the corners for 3’s. Tyler struggled as he wasn’t able to get the ball in good position to score and he missed some good opportunities around the basket. They tried to speed us up and we were a little careless with the ball in the first quarter and during the third quarter. Our third quarter continues to be a problem as we struggled again to take control of the game coming out of halftime. We stayed very composed throughout the second half and our kids made some really good plays throughout the 4th quarter. With 11 seconds left, we had the ball under Heritage’s basket. We set up a play to get the ball in Josh’s hands and then spread the floor out for him to create. Josh made an aggressive drive and a good decision as no one stepped over to stop his drive and he hit a little 5′ bank shot on the left side with 3 seconds left. Heritage was only able to get off a desperation half court shot that missed. It was a solid road win for us as we had to come from behind in the 4th quarter to get the victory. We are certainly looking forward to playing a very good Westview team on Thursday night as it will be a big game in the NECC. We hope everyone is able to make it out.”
This Thursday will be the biggest test so far this season for the Eagles. They will host the Westview Warriors at 7:30 p.m. in what should be one of the biggest games in Churubusco in recent history. This game was circled on the calendar by a lot of people when the schedules came out and it looks to be one of the top games in the conference. If you like basketball this is the game you should be at. Grab your friends and neighbors and come out to support your Eagles on to victory. Get there early and check out Churubusco’s future as the J.V. begins at 6 p.m.