The Eagles entered into the final eight meeting the second-ranked Triad Timberwolves, who gave the Eagles more than enough to chew on with stellar shooting and a 61-41 win. The loss knocked the Eagles out of the running for the 2020 state championship.
The canines came roaring out of the gate, quickly building a 9-2 lead. The Eagles’ offense picked up somewhat with the initial frame ending with the Eagles down 17-9.
The second quarter featured more of the same as the Eagles could not find the hoop. The Timberwolves had no such issues. The half saw the Eagles down 32-16 while shooting 17.9% from the floor.
Whatever coach Olan Fulfer said in the locker room must have hit home. The Eagles found the hoop more often, scoring 14 in the frame. However the canines continued sharpening their deadly shooting eyes, scoring 14 as well.
The fourth quarter began with the Eagles trading buckets with the Timberwolves. However, Triad maintained the edge with their stellar 50% shooting from the floor, outscoring the Eagles in the final period 15-11 and walking off court with a healthy 61-41 win.
The stats show the Eagles played remarkable basketball, matching the Wolves in nearly every stat but shooting, which led to Joseph’s downfall. Floor shooting ended at 28.8 % while free throw shooting stood at 50%. Joseph’s second half shooting saw considerable improvement at 41.7% and more than 44% from beyond the paint. More than anything else, the Eagles showed character and spirit, fighting tooth and claw down to the very end.
"We lost to the eventual state champions, and we can't hang our heads too low about that," Coach Olan Fulfer said.
The coach said that the Eagles played incredible defense against a team capable of scoring a tremendous amount of points. He pointed to opportunities for the Eagles to put points on the board but a lack of shooting consistency spelled doom for Joseph.
"We missed shots and they hit shots. It was a struggle that killed us. If we would have made those shots we could have had a chance to win it."
Junior Mason Ferre’ led the charge for the Eagles with 13 points, which included draining a trio of three-pointers and earning a Moda Health player of the game award for the Eagles. Hadley Miller aced nine and Chase Murray delivered up eight for the cause. Defensively, Murray collared nine rebounds while Reece Nelson put five boards in the books.