Avenging one of just two losses on the year along the way, Josh Bradley"s Eldorado Eagles put themselves back in control of the Black Diamond Conference-East Division with a 45-29 win over Fairfield in the Mule Barn Friday.
Eldorado improved to 23-2 overall, and moved back into sole possession of first place in the BDC-East at 6-1. The Mules fell back into second in the league with a 5-2 mark, and 12-11 overall.
"When you have only lost two games, and a team beats you at home when you played bad in that first one—we had 17 turnovers, missed 12 layups in the first half and shoot poorly at the free throw line like we did again tonight—and we got beat by one. You don"t get too many second chances in life, so when you get one you have to lick your chops and go take advantage. That was our focus tonight," Bradley said after the win.
Neither team shot well, but the longer, stronger Eagles dominated the boards with a 42-24 rebounding edge, including 17 boards off the offensive glass.
"We average right around 42 rebounds a game," Bradley noted. "We have some guys with some length who can jump and crash the boards. That is just a strength of ours. We have some big, strong kids. Football helps those kids. They hit the weight room pretty hard. We were able to push and shove our way around a little tonight."
The rebounding helped the Eagles overcome a 16-of-47 shooting night from the field, and a dismal 11-of-27 from the free throw line which kept the game from being a bigger blowout.
The Mules, who scored just 22 points against Carmi and 28 against Wayne City in recent games, continued to struggle from the field. They were just 9-of-41 shooting overall, 0-for-11 on threes as they struggled to find anything inside against Eldorado"s superior interior defense.
"Defense is our strength. We are a really good defensive team. Some nights we shoot well. When we put it all together, we are pretty good," Bradley said.
The Mules fell behind 13-3 early in the first quarter, but battled back to within four late in the second. The Eagles led just 23-18 at halftime, but then held the Mules scoreless for nearly seven minutes in the third quarter to take a 31-18 lead. The Eagles led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter.
Braden Attebury led the charge for the Eagles with a double-double. He netted 14 points while pulling down 17 rebounds, 14 of which came in the second half. The Eagles also got good production off their bench, with Max Kasair coming in for 11 points and Ray May netting nine. Ethan Partridge was limited with foul trouble all night and finished with seven points.
Fairfield was led in scoring by junior Jayden Lewis, with 10 points. Brant McGill added seven.
Fairfield won the jayvee game, 66-38. Andrew Stewart and Wyatt Gilbert each had 12 points, while Brian Estes had 11 and Reese Lee had 10.
The Eagles will host Carmi (15-7) Tuesday. The Mules will host Hamilton County (4-18).
Eldorado 45, Fairfield 29
2s 3s FTA FTM TP
Oglesby 0 0 4 0 0
Meredith 0 0 6 2 2
Partridge 3 0 3 1 7
Attebury 4 1 3 3 14
Traxler 0 0 4 2 2
Kasair 4 0 7 3 11
May 3 1 0 0 9
Rebounds—Atteberry 17, Oglesby 5, Partridge 5, May 5, Traxler 4, Kasair 4, Meredith 2, Total 42.
Steals—Partridge 3, May 2, Meredith 1, Kasair 1.
2s 3s FTA FTM TP
Snyder 0 0 6 4 4
McGill 3 0 2 1 7
Lewis 3 0 6 4 10
Smothers 0 0 2 2 2
BEstes 3 0 1 0 6
Rebounds—McGill 5, Snyder 4, Dagg 3, Vaughan 3, B. Estes 3, Dagg 3, Lewis 2, Smothers 1, Total 24.
Assists—McGill 2, Stewart 1, Hixenbaugh 1,
Blocks—Lewis 2, B. Estes 2, Snyder 1, McGill 1.