BOYS’ BASKETBALL SPORT SHORTS, 2013-14
For a preview to the Eagles basketball season and a look at their scores so far, check out the Winter Sports Box Scores, 2013-2014, for dates, times, and all winter sports.

Also, please be sure to check out the Eagle’s schedule for the upcoming season at Max Preps. FC is currently 8-4 overall and 0-0 in the West Sequoia League as of Dec. 11. The Eagle’s next game will be Jan. 14, as they host the Tranquillity Tigers.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL SPORT SHORTS, 2013-14
EAGLES TAKE CONSOLATION CHAMPIONSHIP, BEAT FIREBAUGH, 68-62, Jan. 11

The Eagles were invited to play at the 2014 Jesse Lujan Memorial Basketball Tournament hosted by Selma High School, starting Jan. 8, with games everyday through the eleventh. The Eagles went into the tourney with a record of 5-3; their last game they defeated Firebaugh High School, 68-62.

The Eagles opened against South Bakersfield High School, a Division III team. Though FC was able to keep the game close through the first half, the Rebels’ depth proved too much for the Eagles, as South ended up winning, 60-43.

Trevor Trevino scored a personal-best 10 points in the game, but felt that the team needed to play a more rounded game in order to handle strong teams.

“There was some intensity,” Trevino said. “We played as a team but we needed more effort. Especially on defense. On the press break we needed to make smarter choices and take better care of the basketball.”

These tweaks seem fixable to Trevino, who looks forward to more opportunities.

“We’ll be in good shape,” said Trevino. “It all starts with the little things, Like running harder or playing smarter.”

In their second game, the Eagles played Reedley High School, Jan. 9. The Pirates, another D-III team, are struggling this year, and FC was looking to take advantage. The Eagles got out into a lead and never looked back, taking the game 58-41 and prolonging their chances at the consolation title.

Coach Robert Hubbard was pleased with the intensity of the team and thinks that the problems they face are easy to deal with.

“I liked the effort of our kids in the first two games,” said Hubbard. “I thought we played well but had too many turnovers and missed too many free throws. Those are areas we can fix though. As for the rest of the tournament, I expect us to get rolling and make a run at the consolation championship.”

FC readied for their third game, to be played against Kingsburg High School, Jan. 10. The Vikings proved to be a rough matchup for the Eagles, and the score was close throughout the contest. Senior Brian Scott was able to bank in a highlight-reel buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter from beyond half-court, a shot that would motivate FC to fight back and stay in the game.

Senior N’Gai Jones also added in his share of flashy plays, including an off-balance layup after being fouled late in the second half to give the Eagles a big morale boost. With time ticking away, FC was down a point to the Vikings. Then, with under 10 seconds left in the game, Scott drove and converted the go-ahead layup for the Eagles, winning the game 49-48.

Caleb Nale was a bit disappointed with the Eagles’ effort against a team they see often, but felt glad they were able to pull out a win thanks to their chemistry.

“We worked better as a team,” said Nale. “Aggressive defense always helps. We forced a lot of turnovers wich is good. We still need to rebound better and limit our turnovers.”

The low score was a major catch point for the senior, who looks to improve the offensive efficiency.

“We’re still working on our shots and getting the team to run an offense without turning over the ball,” Nale added.

Thanks to the win, FC was put into the Consolation Championship against D-IV and WSL rival Caruthers High School. The stage was set, as the Eagles were put into an intense game against a team they will be seeing twice in the next month.

FC came out strong, up 17 at one point in the second quarter. However, Caruthers’ strong offense was able to put more points on the board, getting back to within single digits by halftime. The Blue Raiders clawed their way back into the game, but the Eagles fought off the effort and won the game 69-61.

Scott felt that the team showed character in the way it bounced back from the first round loss.

“It wasn’t easy,” Scott said of the tournament. “After a poor performance in the first game we all felt we were better than what we had displayed; and we were. It feels good to finally get some recognition as a team and be ranked fourth in our division, we honestly deserve it. This is a huge step in our journey to a Valley Championship.”

In addition to taking the Consolation Championship, Scott was elected to the all-tournament team after averaging over 20 points during the four-game stretch.

“Being an All-Tourney selection is an honor, especially in a big tournament,” added Scott. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. None of our success would be possible without the support of our coaches, family, and friends.”

The tournament carried a certain amount of significance for Scott, who first stepped onto the floor at Selma High School.

“My dad used to coach in Selma and that’s the first place I stepped on a real court to play. This tournament was special because that is where it all started.”

This tournament improved the Eagles to 8-4 overall, and their next game will be a “Taco Tuesday” homestand against the Tranquility Tigers, Jan. 14.