Eastern Brown sweeps seventh and eighth grade titles –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
For those fans of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, the future looked very bright as four teams gathered at North Adams High School on Feb. 23 for the seventh and eighth grade championship games of the SHAC Tournaments. Manchester and Eastern Brown tangled in the seventh grade title game, while host North Adams battled Eastern Brown for the eighth grade crown, four talented teams with bright futures.
If you were in Seaman that evening as a fan of the Eastern Brown Warriors, then you went home as a happy person. The Warriors swept the seventh and eighth grade tournament titles, downing Manchester 37-30 in the seventh grade game, and then coming back to defeat North Adams 53-45 in the eighth grade contest, completing an undefeated season for the eighth grade Warriors.
The seventh grade title game was a tight one throughout as the two teams went back and forth with the lead, forging a 15-15 halftime deadlock.
The Greyhounds struck first in the third quarter, getting baskets from Isaiah Scott and Jackson Poole to take a four-point lead. The Warriors had a quick answer to that, getting back to back threes from Nathan Smith to retake the lead. The back and forth continued as a Poole free throw and Scott bucket put Manchester back in front, but a basket and two free throws by Trent Hundley gave the advantage back to Eastern. The third stanza ended with a basket by Poole that left the Greyhounds trailing by just a single point at 27-26 heading into the final six minutes.
That final six minutes of play belonged to the Warriors as they held the Hounds without a field goal, giving them just two free throws each from Scott and Daulton McDonald. In the meantime, the Warriors clinched their tournament title by closing out the final period on an 8-2 run, getting six points from Hundley and a basket by Christian Hoskins to pull away for the 37-30 win.
Hundley led the champion Warriors with 22 points, including 8 of 9 from the foul line, with Michael Bonilla and Nathan Smith adding 6 apiece. The Greyhounds were topped by Jackson Poole’s 17 points, with Isaiah Scott chipping in with 7.
5 10 11 4 –30
8 7 12 10 –37
Manchester (30): Hayslip 0 0-2 0, Wikoff 1 0-0 2, McDonald 1 2-2 4, Scott 2 3-6 7, Poole 8 1-2 17, Team 12 6-12 30.
E. Brown (37): Hundley 6 8-9 22, Smith 2 0-0 6, Hoskins 1 0-1 2, Minton 0 1-3 1, Bonilla 3 0-4 6, Team 12 9-17 37.
E. Brown (4): Hundley 2, Smith 2
The eighth grade championship match up was one that many had been looking forward to as the once-beaten North Adams squad faced off with an unbeaten Eastern team. The only loss for the Green Devils came in the regular season at the hands of the Warriors as North Adams held a nine-point lead and then was outscored 19-0 in the fourth quarter to lose by 10. A full house in the NAHS gym saw one side looking for some measure of revenge and the other looking to cap off a perfect season.
In the championship tilt, the Warriors jumped out to an 11-7 lead after one quarter and the Devils spent the rest of the game trying to catch up, though to no avail in the end.
In the second stanza, the Devils got baskets from Andrew Brand, Jentry Crawford, and Hunter Hoop, but a three-pointer by Eastern’s Ethan Daniels kept the Warriors in front 16-13 in a low-scoring, defensive first half.
After the intermission, the offenses on both sides experienced a resurrection as the third quarter began with three-point goals by Eastern’s Jaiden Alcalde and the Devils’ Cade Meade. Trailing later 29-21, the Devils got back to back threes from Jayden Hesler and Brand to excite their faithful and pull within two points, but all night the Warriors had responses and this time a three-point play by Colton Vaughn began an 11-2 Warrior spurt that extended their lead to double digits at 40-29 at the end of three.
With their backs to the wall, the Devils opened the final quarter with a 6-0 run that began with the basket “and one” from Hunter Hoop.
Just when it looked like North Adams was ready to make their big move, the Warriors answered again, this time with a 7-0 run that pretty well sealed the deal, giving them a 49-37 lead with just 1:23 to play.
North Adams got three baskets from Hesler in the final minute, but the advantage for the Warriors was too much and they finished off an outstanding, unbeaten season with the 53-45 win to take home the SHAC tourney first place hardware.
In the win, the Warriors were led by 23 points from Colton Vaughn, an athlete who SHAC fans will hear a lot about in the next four years. Andres Vargas added 11 and Jaiden Alcalde 8 for the
North Adams was paced by 14 points from Jayden Hesler, 12 by Hunter Hoop, and 7 apiece from Andrew Brand and Cade Meade.
7 6 16 16 -45
11 5 24 13 –53
N. Adams (45): Brand 3 0-0 7, Crawford 1 0-0 2, Hesler 6 1-1 14, S. Meade 1 1-2 3, C. Meade 3 0-0 7, Hoop 5 2-5 12, Team 19 4-8 45.
E. Brown (53): Boone 2 2-4 6, Vaughn 8 7-9 23, Daniels 1 2-3 5, Vargas 4 2-2 11, Alcalde 2 3-5 8, Team 17 16-23 53.
N. Adams (3): Brand 1, Hesler 1, C. Meade 1
E. Brown (3): Daniels 1, Vargas 1, Alcalde 1