Eagles own the Paint vs Charleston
The Eagles are rounding into form as the end of the regular season nears.
They hosted their rival from just up Highway 22 when the Charleston Tigers came to town. Though they started out well when they met previously at Charleston, the Eagles eventually fell by 17. At home, it was a different story. The Eagles led for much of the first half before a surge from the Tigers gave them the first-half lead. Fresh out of the gate, the third quarter belonged to the Eagles, and they cruised to a 63-65 win, hitting key free throws down the stretch.
Mequeil Ellingberg dominated from winning the tip and scoring inside on the first three possessions. Sam Muldrow led the way with 19 points, and Jesse Wells added 16 as did Ellingberg. The work of Ellingberg and Muldrow inside opened up Wells for multiple open three-point scots at key moments. The Eagle's best all-around performance could not have come at a better time. On Friday, they had to take the long road trip to Cossatot River, a team they held on to beat by 4 at home. On this night, it was all Eagles, and familiar names again led the Eagles to victory. Muldrow (17), Ellingberg (15), and Wells (13) led the Eagles to a 54-45 road win. The Eagles are now 11-10 and have climbed back to an even 6-6 in conference play. They will host Cedarville before heading to Booneville in the regular-season finale. District Tournament games are scheduled to begin on Feb. 13.
For the Lady Eagles, it was also a chance at revenge against Charleston. Their previous game at Charleston was a lopsided 30 point loss. On this night, things were much different, and sophomore Brailey Forst chose a good night for her best game of the season. She was a force in the lane all night for the Lady Eagles, as they keep the game close throughout. It was the halftime adjustments by Head Coach Donald Hart that paved the way, as Charleston hit numerous open shots behind the arc in the first half, but did not get a clean look the entire second half. The Tigers had no response for the set plays the Lady Eagles ran late, as they put the ball in the hands of Jadyn Hart, and as the defense collapsed, she fed Forst underneath for easy baskets. The Lady Eagles pulled away for a 49-40 win. In their second game, they played the second-ranked conference team on the road at Cossatot River. They played them close the first time, and this one was no different. The Lady Eagles were in the game throughout, but fell by the same margin as their previous meeting, losing by 6 on the road, 47-53.
Scranton had a tough week all the way around. The boys were able to get in one game, traveling to Western Yell, where they dominated play in the 60-38 win, taking their second lopsided win this season against Western Yell. That was the only game they were able to play due to COVID-19 issues in the league and rescheduling. The Lady Rockets were not able to play a game for the second consecutive week. Currently, they are scheduled to host Sacred Heart in a nearly week makeup game before hosting rival County Line in non-conference play on Friday night.
County Line suffered their first conference loss as they traveled to face The New School Cougars Tuesday. It was a matchup for the top two teams, and the Indians held on for the home victory the first time around. This time, the County Line offense did not score at the pace they have been this season and they dropped the game 36-43. On Friday night, they bounced back with a 27 point road win over Thaden, 67-40. The Indians fall just behind The New School in the conference standings, having played two fewer games. The Indians are 8-1 in conference play and 21-5 overall. They are scheduled to be on the road this week, Wednesday at Mulberry, and ending the week with the game at Scranton.
The Lady Indians took down The New School in their early week matchup, with the defense again leading the way. Maddie Phillips scored 10 points in the 33-16 win. Against Thaden, the Lady Indians continued their positive momentum, They rolled to the 55-33 win with Jayleigh Smith leading the way with 25 points. County Line has rebounded from their early-season struggles, and Ryan Casalman's young team now sits at 8-3 in the conference, firmly planted at third in the standings.
The Subiaco Academy Trojans rolled to a 22 point road win at Clarksville in a Wednesday night game. The 67-45 win keeps the Trojans ahead of the Panthers in the conference standings. On Saturday they hosted the Ozark Hillbillies, a team they had defeated on the road earlier in the season. This matchup went much different, and Trojans dropped a low-scoring heartbreaker late, 34-37. The Trojans are now 5-5 in the conference and will face the top two teams on the road in the final week of the season as they travel to Morrilton and Dardanelle in the final week of the regular season.