finally hit the court after a 13-day delay opening with county rival Columbia City who defeated the Eagles 76-43 last season. Columbia City defeated Churubusco 51-41 in front of the home crowd.
The Eagles looked to go to their big 6’ 8” center, Tyler Arrowsmith, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Hunter Nicodemus added 13 points, hitting two of five from three-point range.
“You saw some of that in our team early here tonight, we had a few turnovers and were a little bit shaky from the start,” explained Coach Michael McBride. “Columbia City does a good job of exposing your weakness, that’s for sure.”
Columbia City jumped out to a 13-9 first quarter lead and pushed it to 26-15 at the half. The Eagles fought back in the second half but couldn’t get the lead under ten points. Churubusco trailed 38-26 entering the final quarter and Columbia City held on for the 51-41 win over the Eagles.
“We had a lot of good looks inside and we didn’t convert them,” stated Coach McBride. “We’re just not where we need to be right now but we will get to that point.”
Saturday at West Noble was a different story. After the early feeling out period the Eagles pulled out to a 21-12 first quarter lead. The outside game was working as the Eagles drained three three-pointers, Jordan Turner connected for two, Tavin Herendeen hit the other and Nicodemus added seven first quarter points. The second quarter was almost a copy of the first, three pointers by Josh LeFever, Nicodemus and Dylan Herendeen, who also added a three point play. The Eagles outscored the Chargers 22-16 in the period to move to a 43-28 halftime lead.
“When you get into conference play everything steps up a notch,” stated Coach McBride. “Whenever you get a road win in conference play, that’s really big. Tonight was a good win for our ballclub. Our perimeter guys were a lot more involved tonight with more movement in the offense.”
The Eagle offense stalled a little bit in the third quarter only putting up seven points, but they held West Noble to just eight to make it 50-36 after three quarters.
Arrowsmith dumped in seven in the final period to lead the Eagles, Turner added five more and Austin Goepfrich connected on a three-pointer. The Eagles extended their lead as they outscored the Chargers 24-15 in the last quarter.
“Something we didn’t do a year ago was to take a double figure lead and extend it,” explained Coach McBride. “We let teams back in the game. Tonight we took our double figure lead and extended it and put the game away. I thought that showed the maturity of our team.”
The Eagles will host Prairie Heights this Friday with the JV beginning at 6:00 p.m. The two postponed games will be made up on December 23rd at Heritage and December 30th at home against Westview.