Not only was the basketball team devastated by the loss to the St. Pius X Panthers on Friday, January 30, but the student section mourned as well. The home game against the Panthers is a game marked off on any student’s calendar as soon as the schedule is announced.
The entire community was disappointed by the 50- 68 loss, but the team will not let a single game stop them from their goal of winning in the playoffs. The game was characterized by ups and downs that ultimately led to a loss for the Eagles.
Despite being down big at the beginning of the game, the Eagles battled back to only being down by four, but poor free-throw shooting and bad shot selection were the kryptonite for the Eagles. The Eagles shot only 12 for 22 from the charity stripe, which was similar to Shaquille O’Neal, of the NBA’s worst all-time free throw shooters, career free throw percentage.
It was a heated game filled with adrenaline, which caused many runs for both sides and two skirmishes in the first and third quarters. The first event occurred after senior Jacob Strom had a hard foul on Texas Tech commit Jordan Jackson that escalated into just a few pushes and shoves.
Later in the game, senior Rock Flowers was the center of a brawl between both teams and even some students that led to Flowers’ ejection.
The inability for the Eagles to make jump shots was a reason a large gap was formed during the first half. Once the Eagles attacked the lane, a win looked like it could be within reach at half-time. Jeremy Peck and David Jones lead the Big Red in first half scoring with 8 and 6 points respectively. Despite noticing the success the team had in the paint in the first half, the team was settling for contested mid-range jump shots that just did not seem to be falling all night.
Collin Jones and Jeremy Peck both reached double digits in the point category with 14 and 18 points respectively. Randy Brumant and David Jones each ended the game with 8 points, and Josh Shawn contributed a field goal to round off the scoring. The sharp shooting of Jordan Jackson was ultimately too much for the Eagles who struggled with their jump shots all night.
The future Red Raider scored 35 points, which was about double what any other player from either team scored. The high-flyer took advantage of the press to get easy fast break dunks and ally-oops. Despite a late surge by the Eagles, the defect was too much to come back from.
The team will need to stay away from foul trouble that plagued a few of the Eagles, take better shots, and sink their free throws in order to beat the Panthers in the next battle. The team has learned from the mistakes of that game and look to win out the remainder of the 4 district games, including a rematch against the Panthers of St. Pius X on February 17.