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 17-7 overall and 8-1 in the West Sequoia League as of Feb. 19. The Eagle’s next game will be Feb. 21, as they travel to play the Fowler Redcats.
BOYS’ BASKETBALL SPORT SHORTS, 2013-14
EAGLES KEEP CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ALIVE WITH CLUTCH HOME WIN; 75-68, Feb. 18
The Eagles held their Senior Night against the rival Blue Raiders, Feb. 18, defeating Caruthers, 75-68. First place in WSL standings was on the line and, going into the game, the Eagles were in second.
Continuing the storied tradition of close, physical, and intense games, the two teams have met twice so far this year. FC beat Caruthers on a neutral court in a tournament held in Selma, and the Blue Raiders beat the Eagles in a game held in Caruthers, Jan. 31.
The Eagles held their Senior Night ceremonies before the tip-off, honoring the team’s four seniors: Levi Browatzke, N’Gai Jones, Caleb Nale, and Brian Scott. The home team looked to take advantage of the increased crowd size and make the night one to remember.
From the tip, the Eagles dominated the floor, getting out to a 21-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. FC was playing strong offense and eliminating Caruthers’ threats on the other end of the court, two major aspects of their game plan that they needed to execute in order to play with confidence.
Though the Eagles were playing well, fouls were a problem for multiple players, who played less minutes than normal in an effort to stay away from fouling out.
In the second, FC continued their hard play but the Blue Raiders started to claw back. The score was 42-35 going into the half after Caruthers scored 27 points – one of the higher numbers scored in one period the Eagles had seen all year.
The Blue Raiders continued to fight back against the home court advantage, driving to the hoop and taking high-percentage shots. However, the Eagles maintained their hot shooting. When the third quarter ended, the score was 62-48.
Caruthers came out strong in the fourth quarter, chipping away at the FC lead. With around 3 minutes left to play, the Blue Raiders tied it up and then took their first lead of the game, 65-62.
The Eagles responded with clutch “and-ones” on back-to-back possessions by Nale and Scott to take back the lead.
FC would hold onto this lead for the last 90 seconds, winning 75-68 and tying for the lead of the WSL.
The student section stormed the court following the final buzzer, celebrating alongside family, players, and coaches alike.
Scott felt that the Eagles played confidently, taking charge of their abilities and proving their worth in the WSL.
“We knew coming in this would be a game we had to win in order to leave our legacy,” Scott said. “Being league champs has been the first goal since day one. During the game we got off to a great start, got a little shaky, but when it came down to a minute left we did what champions do and pulled away.”
He also added that the home court and crowd played a big role in the Eagles’ confidence and momentum.
“And not to mention the crowd support was amazing!” Scott said. “Definitely one of those games you dream about playing in as a kid and when it actually happens it’s very overwhelming and exciting!”
Coach Robert Hubbard was pleased with the team’s ability to dominate the pace and physicality, especially in such a big game.
“This was a great win for our program against a really good and well coached Caruthers team,” Hubbard said. “I was really proud of the way our guys responded to adversity.”
Hubbard was also ecstatic concerning the turnout of students and their energy in the bleachers.
“I also can’t say enough about our student section,” added Hubbard. “Their energy played a huge part in the team’s success. We have a good two days off in preparation for Fowler on Friday and our goal is to earn a league championship with the win.”
This writer can be reached via Twitter @Grossman_Chris.