By William

LOST SPRINGS – For just the second time all season the Elyria Christian boys basketball team played with their full roster and used that excitement to score a decisive 14-point, 62-48 semifinal victory over Peabody/Burns at the Centre Cougar Basketball Classic, a win which also propelled them into the tournaments championship game on Saturday.

In the championship game the Eagles will face off with Solomon who defeated host Centre in the other semifinal battle.

The Eagles built a commanding lead in the first two quarters, leading by five at 11-6 at the end of the first before exploding for 29 points in the second quarter to carry a 22-point, 40-18 advantage into the halftime break.

Peabody/Burns made a couple of runs at the Eagles in the second half, shrinking the lead to just 18 by the end of the third quarter and then to the final 14-point margin of victory that Elyria celebrated at the final buzzer.

“We are continuing to learn,” commented Eagle Head Coach Zach Goodrich. “We are now 11 games into the season, and this is only our second game with our entire roster suited up. It is going to be a process getting everyone back in rhythm offensively and defensively.”

Zach Stucky had a big night for the Eagles as he led the team with 19 points while also dishing out three assists and making two steals on defense. Bret Anderson was not too far behind in the scorebook as he hit for 16 while taking care of business in the paint with a team leading six rebounds.

Both teams shot well from the field as Peabody/Burns connected on 49% of their shots while Elyria hit for 45%. The big difference in the stats came on free throws as Peabody/Burns was whistled 25 times for fouls to just 15 for Elyria, giving the Eagles 38 opportunities to shoot from the charity strip and they connect on 63% of them.

Coach Goodrich talked about his offense when he added, “Offensively, we were able to put the ball in the basket. Lots of contributors early in this contest. Gage (Schneider) finding baskets around the rim, Jackson (Stone) hitting a couple of threes, and Zach (Stucky) and Bret (Anderson) continuing to be aggressive. It helps we can have multiple options being threats.”

Defensively the Eagles forced Peabody/Burns into 24 miscues.

Speaking of his defense, Coach Goodrich concluded his post-game reflections by saying, “Defensively, we let up and that’s not who we are. I told the boys we have to get better all four quarters and we let a good opportunity go. I think we will learn from it, but if there was one thing I would want to be better, it’s us staying sharp in both halves. Tomorrow we will have to be better if we want any chance to finish out the week strong.”


SCORING:                    1          2          3          4          FINAL

Peabody/Burns            6          12        17        13        = 48

ELYRIA EAGLES            11        29        13        9          = 62

TEAM STATS:              Peabody/Burns            ELYRIA EAGLES

Shooting                      19-39 (49%)                 17-37 (46%)

3-Pointers                    5-11 (45%)                   4-17 (24%)

Free Throws                5-10 (50%)                   24-38 (63%)

Assists                          10                                8

Rebounds (Off/Def)    26 (6/20)                     24 (7/17)

Turnovers                    24                                15

Steals                           8                                  13

Blocked Shots              0                                  1

Personal Fouls             25                                15

ELYRIA EAGLE INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (62 total points): Zach Stucky – 19; Bret Anderson – 16; Ben Unruh – 7; Kevan Wiggers – 6; Jackson Stone – 6; Gage Schneider – 5; Josef Hobson – 2; Kaden Aroum – 1.

Three-Pointers Made (4): Jackson Stone – 2; Zach Stucky – 1; Ben Unruh – 1.

Assists Leader: Zach Stucky – 3; Josef Hobson, Jackson Stone – 2.

Rebound Leaders: Bret Anderson – 6; Kevan Wiggers – 4; Ben Unruh – 3.

Leader in Steals: Ben Unruh – 4; Jackson Stone – 3; Gage Schneider – 2.

Leader in Blocked Shots: Jackson Stone – 1.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)