Boys Thumped by Churchill on Senior Night
By Tim O’Sullivan
For the Independent
Prior to Friday night’s game, nine senior players along with the team manager were honored for their time and dedication to the basketball program.
Unfortunately for them and the rest of the Eagles, that’s as good as it got.
Churchill stunned the Main Gym with a 17-0 game opening run, and never looked back in a decisive 100-49 win.
It was so bad that the Eagles found themselves behind before the game even started. Anthony Gray was called for a technical foul for dunking in pre-game warmups, and Spencer Hoffman hit on both free throws, giving the Lancers (20-4, 13-1 MWL, ranked #2 in 5A) the lead before the first second elapsed. Then, instead of a jump ball at mid court to begin play, Churchill was awarded possession because of the technical, and promptly knocked down a three-pointer – the first of 14 they would hit on the night – taking a 5-0 lead before Eagle Point got their first possession.
“I think we had emotion, and the emotion overwhelmed our starters a little bit,” said head coach Brent McConaghy. “The emotion overwhelmed the guys who came in to take over the starters because they felt like they had to get it all back in one shot. Usually for us when we use emotion, we feed off each other’s reactions to one another. Today that emotion kind of hurt us in a lot of ways.”
Because of senior night, McConaghy elected to start Jacob Nielsen, Tanner Hill, Joe McHugh, Anthony Gray, and Mason Morgan, five seniors who normally come off the bench. By the time the regular starters came into the game two-and-a-half minutes in, the deficit had already reached double figures.
Quinn Warshafsky led all scorers with 28 including five makes from beyond the arc. Lucas Schwin made six threes in the first half – outscoring the Eagles all by himself – en route to seven triples for the game.
Mario Quintero topped the Eagles with 19, though 10 came in the fourth quarter with the game well decided. Bennett Rodgers added nine.
Already with 51 points in the first half, Churchill continued to pour it on in the third quarter, knocking down more threes, pressing full court defensively, and orchestrating a pair of highlight reel dunks by Lucas Wilson. But McConaghy didn’t think the Lancers were rubbing it in.
“Churchill doesn’t develop bad habits. Churchill develops winning basketball, and that’s why they’re so successful. If that’s happens for us, we’ll do the exact same thing to them. Their coach (Kelly Bokn) and I have a great relationship, and we would never say anything like that (rubbing it in) about Churchill.”
Despite the devastating regular season ending loss. The Eagles (10-11, 6-8 MWL) had already clinched a play-in berth. Opening the night in fourth place in the Midwestern League, the only question remained if they would end up 4th or 5th in league, and whether they would play at home or on the road. Marist defeated Ashland 52-41 Friday night to tie the Eagles at 6-8, and since they split the season series, the tie-breaker comes down to Colley Rating (a system based on winning percentage, which is adjusted for a team’s strength of schedule with in their own classification). The final Colley Ratings were not available at press time.