BY MARK HOSKINS
The St. Elmo/Brownstown Eagles varsity basketball team got on a strong roll the past couple weeks, picking up three straight wins. The Eagles beat Ramsey, Patoka, and Martinsville during their streak to improve their record to 11-7 on the season.
First up, the boys hosted the Rams of Ramsey on Jan. 14. In the tight game, the Eagles did just enough to fend off the Rams for a 56-52 win.
SEB gained an early advantage, going ahead 9-7 after the opening eight minutes. The two teams matched each other shot for shot in the second as they both scored 12 points to give the Eagles a narrow 21-19 halftime lead. In the third, the pace picked up for both squads as BSE out-scored their opponents 18-15. Over the final eight minutes, Ramsey made a furious push, scoring 18 points. But SEB hung with them and scored 17 of their own to earn their ninth win of the season.
The Eagles did not have a great shooting night (36% from the field) but they made up for it in other areas, winning the rebounding and turnover battle. Ramsey had just three points off turnovers while SEB had 11.
Andy Goldsborough led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds. Bryton Pruett scored 13 points and dished two assists. Kaden Tish scored eight points while brother Jaxson Tish scored six and collected five rebounds. Jace McWhorter and Gavyn Smith both added five points while Jacob Baron scored two.
Next up, on Jan. 18, the boys traveled to face off with Patoka. In a high scoring contest, the Eagles had a great shooting night in a 74-67 win.
Patoka took an early lead, scoring 19 in the opening quarter to just 16 for the Eagles. SEB struck back with 17 in the second but still trailed by one at halftime. In the third, SEB put up 19 points and held their opponents to just 12 to take a six points lead into the fourth. Both teams found their shot late, with the Eagles edging the competition in the fourth 22-21 for the win.
SEB shot a strong 48% from the field and 46% from beyond the three point line. They needed that strong shooting as Patoka won the rebounding battle and the turnover battle committing just seven turnovers to 14 for SEB.
McWhorter was on fire in this one, putting up 27 points along with five rebounds. Jacob Baron scored 16 points and collected six rebounds while Smith added 11 points and two assists. Pruett scored nine points and passed his teammates open to the tune of eight assists. Kaden Tish scored seven points and had four assists and a block while Caleb Campbell scored two points. Goldsborough and Alex Higgs both added one point.
On Jan. 20, the Eagles traveled to play Martinsville. After a quiet game against Patoka, Goldsborough exploded in this game for 26 points to lead his squad past the Bluestreaks 61-53.
Martinsville had the better play early on, opening up with a 16-12 lead after one quarter. But the Eagles worked hard in the paint to flip the script in the second, outscoring Martinsville 16-12 to leave the score tied at halftime 28-28. In the third, SEB repeated their efforts of the second quarter to again outscore their opponents 16-12. In the fourth, both teams saw a one point increase in their output as the Eagles scored 17 and the Bluestreaks were held to just 13 points over the final eight minutes.
Despite excellent shooting from Martinsville (50% from the field), SEB used strong rebounding and second chance points to earn the win. The Eagles finished with 17 second chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds while the Bluestreaks had just three second chance points off of six offensive rebounds.
Goldsborough led the way for the Eagles with 26 points, six rebounds and a steal. Baron finished with 13 points, all in the paint after collecting six rebounds. Smith scored 11 points while Pruett and Kaden Tish both finished with four points. Pruett recorded seven assists. McWhorter chipped in two points while Higgs added one.
The Eagles record improves to 11-7 overall on the 2019-2020 season. They will look to build on that this week when they take part in the 85th Annual National Trail Conference Tournament in Altamont. SEB holds the eighth seed which puts them up against ninth seeded Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City on Monday. If they win they will move on to play top seeded St. Anthony on Tuesday evening.