The Eagles boys hoopsters are a step closer to state after defeating the Pine Eagle Spartans, 58-39 at district play in Baker City on Thursday, Feb. 20.
The one-two offensive punch of Chase Murray and Mason Ferré and stellar defense spelled doom for the Spartans.
Eagles coach Olan Fulfer said that the Eagles had their ups and downs. The squad had quickly built up a 14-point lead — for a while.
"We started pretty decent, but let Pine Eagle come back into it," Fulfer said.
Scoring monster Chase Murray, who had already picked up 13 points, also picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and cooled his heels until the third. The Spartans pulled to within two points, 22-20, before the Eagles hopped back on board the scoring train.
"It was a defensive battle, going back and forth," Fulfer said. "We were missing easy shots we normally put in while we played amazing defense, not letting them score, which was good. Pine Eagle brought their A-game."
With Murray gone, Ferré helped pick up the slack in the third quarter. The Eagles turned on the afterburners in the fourth quarter, with Murray scoring nine in the frame.
The Spartans threatened once more before game's end, but the Eagles gradually pulled ahead for the 19-point margin.
"We had issues with fouling," Fulfer said. "We were trying to play an intense defense, but we couldn't figure out how to do it without fouling. We put Pine Eagle to the line a ton, and they hit their free throws."
Murray put 22 through the hoop while Ferré followed with a 16-point effort and Hadley Miller laced eight in the bucket.
Fulfer said cold rebounding also hexed the Eagles. Ferre' led the department with five boards while Miller and Murray boxed out four each.
"We didn't rebound too well, and it's a glaring weakness we'll have to fix today if we we want to keep winning," Fulfer said.