On Thursday night, the Oak Hall Eagles lost a tightly contested matchup to the Keystone Heights Indians. The Indians pulled off the upset with a 61-51 victory to cap off their senior night. However, while the game did not merit any celebrations for the Eagles, they still put forth a respectable effort.
The start of the game quickly turned into an offensive shootout between the two teams. Michael Moreschi, Dylan Provencher and Andrew Powell combined for 18 of the Eagles’ 21 points in the first quarter. The score sat at 21-20 entering the second quarter, but the Eagles lost their momentum soon after. The Indians, on the other hand, took control of the game and outscored the Eagles 17-6 to finish the half.
While multiple factors played a role in the Indians’ takeover, Oak Hall head coach Monte Towe cited the Eagles’ energy level as the main reason they fell behind.
“We gave up way too many points,” Towe said. “[Our] defensive rebounding and intensity was a problem.”
It took a while for the Eagles to find their footing in the second half, especially on the offensive end. The team eventually started seeing some signs of life towards the end of the third quarter. However, their deficit still remained in the double digits.
The beginning of the fourth quarter looked much more promising. Powell came out of the gates and immediately knocked down a three to bring the deficit down to single digits. Towe’s main message to his team this quarter was simple: stay focused, create opportunities on offense and get stops on defense.
An early three from Andrew Powell has the Eagles within 7 at the start of the fourth. Monte Howe is encouraging his team to keep pushing forward and to find ways to get open on the offensive end. pic.twitter.com/4ZsQDarbrL
— Jack Meyer (@jacklmeyer10) January 29, 2022
The Eagles responded well to their coach’s message and came within four points of the Indians midway through the quarter. However, the Indians soon responded with a 7-0 run of their own, essentially sinking the Eagles’ chances of a comeback.
“They wanted the game more than we did, and it showed in the final score, it showed the first half and it showed the whole game, really,” Towe said. “We were able to get back in the game, played a little bit harder in the second half, but really, they were just the better team tonight.”
Coming up for the Eagles…
Following Thursday’s loss, the Eagles will hope to get back on track next Tuesday as they visit the Redeemer Christian Lions. While the loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Eagles, the team still remains in good shape in the home stretch of the season. With only two regular-season games remaining, the Eagles currently hold a 10-6 record.
When asked how the team will look to bounce back, coach Towe kept it short and sweet: “Just have a good practice on Monday and get ready for Tuesday.”