Eagles have strong showing at Christmas Tournament

by | December 28, 2017 9:05 am

Caden Mills goes up for a 3-point shot in a recent game. Mills was named to the All-Tournament team this past week.

The Van Buren County Eagles traveled to Maryville last week and closed out their week with a 2-1 record and a second place finish in the Heritage High School Christmas Tournament.

In the first round of the tournament, the Eagles picked up a 79-61 win over Grainger High School. In the second round, The Eagles’ offense came alive as they picked up a 105-69 win over Capital Christian Academy out of Maryland. In the championship game, the Eagles came up just short against Knoxville Catholic, losing on a last-second shot at 58-56.

In the first game of the tournament, the Eagles jumped out to an early 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Eagles expanded their lead, outscoring Grainger 19-13 and led 40-25 heading into halftime.

After halftime, Grainger outscored the Eagles 21-20, but the Eagles were leading 60-46 heading into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles outscored Grainger 19-15 and won 79-61 over Grainger.

Caden Mills led the Eagles with 27 points. Bo Walker chipped in 19 points, and Jacob Crain added 11 points. Jared Binkley finished with 8 points. Sawyer Shockley and Hunter Evans each had 6 points, and Hootie Huerta rounded out the Eagles scoring with 2 points.

In the second round, the Eagles jumped out to an early 25-10 lead over Capital Christian Academy.

In the second quarter the Eagles expanded their lead, outscoring CCA 30-18, and the Eagles led 55-28 heading into the locker room.

After halftime, the Eagle had an offensive explosion in the third quarter outscoring CCA 36-27, and the Eagles led 91-55 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, both teams finished the quarter scoring 14 points each, and the Eagles pulled out a 105-69 win.

Mills led all scorers in the win with 30 points. Walker, Crain, and Shockley each finished with 16 points. Austin Miller added 13 points, and Binkley chipped in 9 points. Dillion Young finished with 3 points, and Dakota Simmons rounded out the Eagles’ scoring with 2 points.

In the championship game, the Eagles jumped out to a narrow 15-14 lead over Knoxville Catholic.

In the second quarter, Knoxville Catholic outscored the Eagles 14-11 and held a narrow 28-26 heading into halftime.

After halftime, Knoxville Catholic outscored the Eagles 16-14 in the third quarter and led 44-40 heading into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles outscored Knoxville Catholic 16-14, but lost 58-56 on a last second tip-in by the Fighting Irish.

In the loss, Mills led the Eagles with 26 points, and Walker chipped in 10 points. Crain added 9 points. Binkley and Shockley each finished with 4 points, and Miller rounded out the Eagles’ scoring with 3 points.

After the tournament was over, both Mills and Crain were named to the All-Tournament team.

After the championship game, Coach Dustin Sullivan had this to say about the Eagles’ play.

“The guys played hard, and we play pretty good basketball for three straight days against three good teams,” he said. “We still have a lot to work on to get to where we need to be, but we are working hard every day to get there by the end of the season.”

After the tournament, the Eagles sit with an 11-2 record. The Eagles will be in Chattanooga, Dec. 28-30, for the Best of Preps Holiday Basketball Tournament. The Eagles are scheduled to play, on Dec. 28, against Tyner High School. Tyler is 5-2 so far this season.

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