The Joseph Eagles are on a roll with their fourth-straight hoops win over the past weekend at Pendleton High School. First to feel the Eagles’ talons were the Crane Mustangs, who suffered a devastating 72-39 shellacking on Friday, Jan. 3.
The finely tuned Eagles squad showed the reason it’s ranked third in state: Depth. Coach Olan Fulfer said he basically played the bench in the second and final quarters, which seemed to have little effect on the scoring.
The men keyed in on defense, only allowing six points in each of the first two quarters and nine in the third quarter, with the Eagles holding a 62-21 edge before the final period, while moving and shooting the ball well on offense.
Despite only playing half the game, junior Marvelous Mason Ferre’ led the scoring with 20 while Chase Murray dipped out 19 and defensive monster, Carson Littlepage, donated 15 points. On the boards, Murray chased seven while Ferre‘ ran down six, as did Reece Nelson. Hadley Miller added five to the cause.
“We’ve been rebounding a lot better,” Fulfer said.
Country Christian fared little better on the following day. Although coach Fulfer said the Eagles played lackadaisical ball at times, they still nailed the Cougars’ hide to the wall, 53-25.
Halftime saw the score at 31-13 for the Eagles. It could have been worse for the Cougars as the Eagles missed some easy shots and allowed their opponents to take some as well.
Nonetheless, Hadley Miller had an excellent game at the post position, scoring 13 easily and drawing fouls while playing down low. Murray piled on 13 himself while Littlepage tossed 10 through the hoop and Nelson had his best game of the season with seven.
While Ferre‘ scored an uncharacteristic five points, Fulfer said the opponent’s full court pressed him the entire game, which allowed other players to pick up the slack for the 28-point victory. The coach said that the team’s positive efforts in dealing with adversity are paying off in the win-loss column and court play in general.
“When we’re passing well and playing good defense, we’re going to be hard to beat,” Fulfer said. “The team is hitting on all cylinders right now. It’s pretty impressive to see.”
The weekend left the Eagles with a 9-3 record overall and holding down the third slot in state rankings.