Braden Attebury was able to put himself in some elite company after last Wednesday"s Eldorado Holiday Tournament.
Not only did he help lead the Eagles to their first EHT title since 2007, but he gave Eldorado the most tournament titles of any school with eight.
Along the way, Attebury took home Most Valuable Player honors and did so as a junior.
That means, the 6-foot-4 guard/forward combo can join four other players to repeat as EHT MVPs.
Cairo"s Anthony Webster was the first player to pull off back-to-back MVP honors, winning in 1979 and 1980.
Norris City-Omaha-Enfield"s Reed Jackson remains to be the only player in EHT history to win the MVP award three straight times, taking home the honor in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
A pair of Harrisburg players have multiple EHT MVP awards. Tyler Smithpeters won it twice, but not consecutive in 2010 and 2012 and Bahari Amaya was the last player to win two straight in 2013 and 2014.
Attebury netted 68 points in four games for Eldorado, scoring a game-high 24 in the opener against Hardin County. He had 15 against Edwards County and seven against Gallatin County, before going off for 22 in the championship game against Herrin.
He"s one of three Eagles scoring in double figures for head coach Josh Bradley, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game. Jacob Traxler is averaging 10 points per game and 11 rebounds a contest and Ethan Partridge is good for 10/9 a game.
Up and Down
Scoring — at a high clip — was somewhat suspect at the 52nd edition of the EHT, but after the dust had settled, Edwards County came out as the top scoring teams, putting up 226 points over four games.
Massac County, which lost to West Frankfort in the consolation championship had 223 points over four games, while Eldorado and Herrin, which played in the EHT title game, tied for third with 217 points over four games.
Other schools playing four games were: West Frankfort (204), Harrisburg (203), Carmi-White County (201) and Gallatin County (167).
Teams playing three games included: Fairfield (182), Vienna (165), Anna-Jonesboro (162) and Union County, Ky. (135).
Finally, teams that play two games and (total points) were: Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (113), Hamilton County (99), Carrier Mills-Stonefort (77) and Hardin County (76).
See You Next Year
Of the 16 teams in the Eldorado Holiday Tournament, no one will be replaced until at least 2019. One school"s contract will run out in 2017 and one school has a contract that runs through 2022. Eldorado athletic director Greg Goodley said he was pleased with the level of competition at this year"s annual tournament and doesn"t look to make any moves or changes, despite two area teams showing interest in wanting to get into the tournament.
Close to 1,000
Harrisburg junior guard Isaiah Saulsberry is closing in on a career milestone as a Bulldog as the junior is 34 points away from 1,000. The 6-foot-2 guard has 966 points with weekend games at Murphysboro (Friday) and at home to Marion (Saturday) on the horizon. Saulsberry is averaging 18.9 points per game and is one of two Bulldogs to register double figure scoring (Noah Ferrell, 11.0 ppg) for a Randy Smithpeters club that is 6-5 overall and 1-2 in league play coming out of the EHT. It was reported through Saulsberry"s AAU coach and current Du Quoin head coach Justin Barrington that Saulsberry had an unofficial visit to Evansville this past weekend.
Getting Some Love
The Associated Press resumed its weekly basketball poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon. Of all the local school"s, Benton was best represented coming in at No. 7 in Class 3A. In the same poll, Centralia and Carterville were in the receiving votes category. In Class 2A, Mt. Carmel got one first place vote and came in at No. 2, while Eldorado rounded out the poll at No. 10. Pinckneyville and Nashville were both in the receiving votes category. Minus Okawville, which comes in at No. 2 in the Class 1A poll, only Gallatin County and Meridian showed up in the receiving votes category.
Eldorado and Harrisburg both have big games headlining its weekend. The Eagles will go to Carmi-White County Friday in a Black Diamond Conference battle and then will travel to Mt. Carmel Saturday for a 4 p.m. game. The matchup with the Aces will be a rematch of last year"s regional championship at Vienna where Mt. Carmel won by 15. The Aces still feature 6-foot-9 senior Justin Carpenter and 6-foot-8 junior Jackson Marcotte. Carpenter is on his way to Southeast Missouri State after the season and the Aces have just one loss, coming out of state to a nearby Indiana (Castle) high school. The game Saturday will certainly have postseason implications on the line.
Harrisburg will have its second meeting with Murphysboro Friday. The Red Devils won 76-67 on Dec. 2 at the Enrie Bozarth Memorial Classic and handed the Bulldogs their second straight loss. Harrisburg will then play host to Marion on Saturday, taking a step up in competition and playing a Wildcat squad that is led by Dave Brown and features Justin Shadowens and freshman stud Jackson Connor.
Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register and Eldorado Daily Journal. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.