The Eastern Warriors and Georgetown G-Men took radically different paths to the consolation game of the boys’ Brown County Holiday Classic.
Georgetown battled Fayetteville throughout the game before falling to the Rockets late. Eastern came out blazing against the Western Brown Broncos, opening up a 25-12 lead in the first half before going silent in the second, being out-scored 42-15 in the second half en route to a 54-40 loss.
Eastern head coach Ric Beucler had a message for his team after the loss.
“I told the kids, I said ‘We have to create our own destiny,’” Beucler said. “That’s what we didn’t do last night: finish the game off. They came back, made their run and they just out-hustled us last night.”
The two teams met Wednesday afternoon and yet again Eastern opened up a big lead. However, unlike the day before, the Warriors were able to maintain this one.
Eastern scored the first 21 points of the game. Georgetown didn’t get on the board until Jacob Cady’s free-throw with 5:28 left in the second quarter. Yes, the second quarter.
By halftime it was 27-3 Eastern Brown, and while Georgetown did put points on the board in the third quarter, they still trailed 39-10 entering the final eight minutes of play. Eastern then pulled back a bit in the fourth quarter, but Georgetown still could not get back in the game, falling to the Warriors 48-24.
No Georgetown player finished in double-digits. Logan Doss led the team with six points. The Warriors were led by Marcus Day, who scored 11 points.
Georgetown may have entered the contest with a 1-6 record, but Beucler said he knew the team would face a difficult task against the G-Men.
“We didn’t defend real well,” Beucler said. “We defined several areas. Tonight I told them we had to play real hard. This team was right there against Fayetteville last night, they played very well. We have six seniors, I told them this was their last trip. Last year we finished fourth, I told them we didn’t want to do that again.”
Shutting teams out in basketball is hard to do, and Beucler couldn’t give all the credit to his team’s defense. He acknowledged that Georgetown just had an off-night.
“They missed some shots,” Beucler said. “I saw them shoot yesterday and they were lighting it up. That was one of my concerns, I was sitting there thinking we’d have to take the air out of it. We played pretty hard. Our defense was good in the first half, the kids did what they were supposed to do. It’s something we have to keep working on.”
Eastern has now won two of their last three games and will look to build even more momentum as league play resumes Tuesday, Jan. 5 against West Union. Beucler said his seniors are going to have to continue to step up in the same way they did against the G-Men.
“These kids are new with varsity experience, they’re getting better every game,” Beucler said. “We’ve got seniors and they should be pretty strong and physical. They knew we were disappointed last night so I think they came in and played a little harder and that’s what we’re going to have to do if we’re going to be competitive.”