The Griswold Grizzlies made the snowy journey to Joseph for a Friday, Jan. 10 battle only to find the Eagles loaded for bear. In one of the most lopsided wins of the year, the Eagles tanned the Grizzlies’ hide, 88-29.
Joseph's Mason Ferre`contributed the first hoop and the Eagles never let up. They led 30-6 at the end of the first quarter. Coach Olan Fulfer did plenty of substituting and even direction for the Eagles to let up, but nothing much helped the onslaught.
The entire bench got plenty of quality playing time. After the half, the Grizzlies' defense seemed shell-shocked, unable to respond even to freshmen players on the floor, who also seemingly scored at will.
Fulfer said he was surprised at the score, because Griswold usually plays tough defense. He also noted his own team played stingy D on the evening, even when told to stand down off the zone. They never ran a press, either.
“I wanted us on work on straight-up man defense,” he said. “I made sure to tell my team not one time do I want them guarding full court. We backed our defense way up.”
The coach followed the same ethic on offense: Don’t shoot any threes.
Ferre`carried the scoring torch with 24 points including going 4 of six from beyond the paint and playing just over a half game. Carson Littlepage pitched in with 20 and probably forced nearly that many Grizzly turnovers.
Chase Murray scored 13 playing less than half the game while shoveling out a few assists and playing excellent ball on the boards.
After the game, Murray said that the team is the best he's seen it.
"We did our job," he said. "Our chemistry is better than it's been in years. Our connection between the players and the friendships we've built between ourselves, the coach and the community make this super fun and super easy."
Unselfish playing is one of the keys to the Eagles’ success, Fulfer said. He also said when players are looking for the open man and good looks at the basket, you can get by without even running an offense.
“Every shot was open and we worked pretty hard to get to the open person,” he said. “People were pretty unselfish and that was pretty cool for me to see.”
Fulfer said the team is playing smart basketball, exactly what he likes.
“We’re not throwing the ball away or taking horrible shots,” Fulfer said. “What we’re trying to do is value every single possession. Every single one is meaningful.”