This past weekend the basketball team kicked off the season by playing in the Charlie Thomas Classic at the University of St. Thomas.
The Eagles won the tournament, beating HCYA 54-50 on Saturday, Nov. 5. It is a great start for the team that is looking to repeat as state champions.
St. Thomas began tournament play on Thursday opening up against the SATCH Mavericks, a homeschool team.
The Eagles committed multiple fouls and did not look sharp in the beginning of the game but overcame their mistakes winning 61-50 behind senior Christian Sanders’ 31 points, including 16 in the first quarter, and senior Jeremy King who had 10 points.
Their next game was with Concordia Lutheran, where the Eagles rolled over the Crusaders, 73-43. Senior Chase Brogna led the team, scoring 26 points; another great game from Sanders amounted to 19 points for St. Thomas. With that win the Eagles moved onto the championship game against talented HCYA.
After losing to the HCYA Warriors one year ago in this same game, the Eagles came out and left no doubt that they were going to be tournament champions this year. It was a marquee matchup down low as King faced off against the University of Houston committed Danrad Knowles.
The game was close throughout the first half, with the score standing at 30-28 at the break. It continued to be close until the final seconds when senior Rowan Brumant knocked down a free throw to give the Eagles a four-point lead with only five seconds left on the clock.
The Eagles won 54-50 and held HCYA to an astounding seven points in the crucial fourth quarter.
King came out and dominated on both ends of the floor rebounding, blocking, scoring and keeping Knowles in check. He finshed with 17 points, including a rim-rattling dunk. Sanders contributed 18 points to the victory.
Sanders was named tournament MVP, while Brogna and King were both named to the all-tournament team for their great performances.
The squad was excited to get back on the court and pursue their goal of repeating as state champs.
“It feels spectacular to get back into season, knowing that we have another chance to win state and work together everyday to get better as a team,” Brogna said. “Our goal is to repeat, and that’s what we are working for.”
Coach Danny Evans was happy with the Eagles’ performance in the tournament.
“We were very pleased,” Evans said. “I am really excited about just the fact that we beat a very good team with two high division one players. Our kids really responded. It was great seeing Christian score the ball like he did, and for Chase and Jeremy to step up and have that huge game in the championship was outstanding.”
The Eagles move on to the St. Thomas Invitational Nov. 10–12 at Reckling Gymnasium, aiming to win their own tournament for a second consecutive year.
They will face stiff competition, as teams from all over Texas and Oklahoma will compete.
“We got a really tough tournament this weekend, and we’re going to try and win another one,” Evans said.