Young Eagles keep chins up through early losses

By Nicole Minier

nminier@kpcmedia.com

CHURUBUSCO — Three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior took the court against an experienced Leo team last Wednesday, falling 68-51. Despite deficits in size, strength and experience, Churubusco’s boys basketball team held its own through most of the game and showed promise for what’s to come this season.

“You can tell they’re young, but they’re just going to keep getting better, and better, and better,” head coach Chris Paul said. “People talk about their inexperience, and they are, but they’re scoring points — we’re lacking in size and strength — we have it sitting over there and it will be back soon.”

The Eagles’ three inside players are out — but expected to start returning to the lineup this month. Garrett Horn, who severely broke his leg in the first game of the football season, returned to the athletic arena at the Leo game, getting his first playing time in months. Though not fully up to speed, the crowd was excited to see the senior take the floor again.

“It meant a lot to get Garrett Horn on the floor,” Paul said. “To go what he went through and be back on the floor already — emotionally it gives us a lift. He’s just going to get better.”

The Eagles trailed 20-13 in the first quarter after a flurry of Leo 3-pointers, four in total. However, ’Busco freshmen Luke McClure and Jackson Paul each scored four points to keep the game close.

Eli Foote and Paul scored back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second quarter to bring the Eagles within two points, 25-23, but Leo’s experience showed and the Lions extended their lead to 31-25 at halftime.

Four different Eagles connected on 3-pointers in the third quarter — Paul, McClure, Zane Burke and Gage Kelly; however, the Lions managed to extend their lead to 51-37 heading into the fourth quarter, and pulled ahead further in the fourth to win the game 68-51.

The Eagles were led by Paul with 24 points and Burke with 11 points. Other scorers included McClure with eight, Foote with three, Kelly with three and Jake Fulk with two.

Churubusco dropped its third game of the season to Westview last week as well, 86-50.

The Eagles started the 2016-17 season with losses in their first three games before beating county-rival Columbia City. That team went on to win seven of its next nine games — and Paul expects similar results from this team, which shows strong potential.

Westview 86, Churubusco 50

TOPEKA — Churubusco freshman Zane Burke led the Eagles with 27 points in the Eagles’ loss at Westview Friday.

Burke also led the team in rebounds with seven

Other leading scorers for Churubusco were Gage Kelly with 12 points and Luke McClure with five.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Churubusco 46, Adams Central 42

CHURUBUSCO – Churubusco’s girls basketball team won its first game of the season by defeating Adams Central 46-42 last week.

The Lady Jets had a narrow lead at the end of the first quarter, 8-6. Churubusco took the lead back by halftime, 20-18. The Lady Eagles outscored Adams Central in the third and fourth quarter to secure their first win.

Westview 54, Churubusco 20

CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco’s girls basketball team hosted and lost to a strong Westview team, 54-20.

The Lady Warriers shut out Churubusco in the first quarter, taking a 16-0 lead. ’Busco got on the scoreboard in the second quarter, but Westview still held a strong, 27-8 advantage at halftime.

Churubusco’s offense had a more productive second half, but the Lady Eagles ended the game with the 54-20 loss.

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