The Eagles boys and girls teams traveled to Nixyaawii and to Cove for their respective Jan. 19-20 league games. Both teams lost to top-ranked Nixyaawii but walked away from Cove with impressive victories.
The Eagle boys came very close to knocking seventh-ranked Golden Eagles off their perch at Friday’s contest, losing by a score of 46-40, the lowest number of points the Golden Eagles have scored all season.
“The boys played hard but couldn’t hit all their shots,” said coach Olan Fulfer.
The boys were down 15-6 at the end of the first quarter but evened up the score in the second, going into the half down 23-20. The third quarter saw the game tied at 33 each, but the Eagles only scored seven in the final quarter to Nixyaawii’s 13.
“It would have been nice to beat Nixy on their home court, we’ve never done that,” Fulfer said. “Still, we’re showing grit, and I’m just really proud of the way our kids played.”
Tyler Homan led the scoring with 15.
“He hit some key shots and played some really stellar defense while being a good leader for us,” Fulfer said.
Post Caevan Murray followed with 11 points and he played the best defense his coach has seen him play this year. Freshman Chase Murray followed with six points and Trey Wandschneider had five and made an outstanding defensive contribution, according to Fulfer.
Cove received a 53-40 drubbing at the hands of the Eagles even though Joseph was down by five at halftime. Fulfer said the team learned not to overlook any opponent during the contest.
“We went into halftime smiling and looked for ways to improve, and that’s huge,” Fulfer said.
The Eagles came out on fire for the second half, scoring 20 points to Cove’s seven and took a 42-34 lead going into final quarter. The Eagles practiced their stall offense in the fourth quarter and came away with a 13-point win.
“We’re moving forward as a team, and that’s huge,” Fulfer said. “We’re concentrating on what we can keep doing in order to win when it matters.”
Caevan Murray led the scoring with a huge 24 points and a ton of rebounds while brother Chase Murray knocked in 15. Homan and Wandschneider each donated four points toward the victory.
The high-flying Eagles ladies came crashing to earth after a 63-33 loss to the second-ranked Golden Eagles last Friday. The Nixyaawii machine proved to be a little too well maintained for the Eagles to shut down.
Coach Lance Homan said that their opponents passed and shot the ball extremely well, and noted that team members have played together for a long time. Homan added that the Eagles didn’t shoot well and turned the ball over too many times. He added that the girls played hard and he was proud of the way they worked.
Alexis Sykora led the scoring with 12 points while Haley Miller added nine. Sabrina Albee contributed seven points toward the Eagles’ total.
The following day saw the Eagles pounding the hide off the Cove Leopards with an impressive 50-21 victory, although the team struggled in the first half, missing a number of close shots. However, the team rebounded after some halftime rest.
“I was proud of how our girls responded and finished the last two quarters. Our defense was as good as it has been all year,” Homan said. He added that Albee’s second-half shooting inspired her teammates to respond in kind and noted the team played with cohesiveness the rest of the game.
The amazing Albee, a freshman, scored 27 points to lead the Eagles attack. Sykora lent 15 points in her efforts and Miller contributed six points toward the win.
The Eagles girls and boys are ranked fifth and 20th in the state, respectively. The girls have a 6-2 league record while the boys are 5-3. Both teams occupy the third slot in the Old Oregon League.