The 2018 Eads basketball season continues to be a challenge for first year head coach, Marcus Gilmore. Eads is lacking in numbers, size, and experience which has resulted in a number of close, tough losses.
But over the weekend, the 5-and-10 Eagles were just plain out-classed by two top-ranked teams in the state including a 66-41 defeat coming from the hands of Kit Carson (13-2, #10) on Friday night; and by the Holly Wildcats (17-0, #2), 68-28, on Saturday night.
Kit Carson would use a 26-point third quarter and an amazing 11 long balls to defeat Eads from the outside. In the first quarter, Eads set up in a zone defense, but failed to find outside shooting guard Brayden Bogenhagen, who absolutely went off hitting four 3-balls in the first period and a fifth at the start of the second quarter. In fact, Bogenhagen represented most of KC’s points in the early part of the game. However, a combination of turnovers and cold shooting effected Eads’ defensive play. That included letting David Arnold roam free while he hit five long balls within two periods. Eads for their part, could not get anything of substance going offensively, although Brigden Parker had a good enough game to keep the Eagles in the gym. Damian Hernandez, despite the fact he would eventually foul out, had a solid first half scoring most of his 10 points in the first period to keep Eads in the game. A key problem was Eads’ shooting performance that included a dismal 1-for-19 performance from outside the arc for 5% on the night.
Gilmore continues to clearly describe his team’s issues, “Our effort was there as always but we didn’t take care of the ball again and had too many turnovers. Bad shooting and turnovers is a tough way to win.”
Parker did lead all players with 20 points and the freshman pulled down 13 rebounds for another double-double. Blake Stoker had a nice hustle game getting 10 rebounds. Hernandez had 10 points of his own, while workhorse Trey McDowell did his part distributing 7 assists and getting 3 steals. Obviously, the two hot shots, Arnold and Bogenhagen, led for the Cats with 17 piece.
Eads just didn’t even show up against Holly as it appeared they decided to fold up the weekend early. While Holly effectively used all their starters in a fast-paced, run-and-gun offense, the Eads group struggled to perform. They would put some effort into the middle part of the game, but their defense absolutely was not present as Holly did what they wanted with the Eagles. Eads would be outscored in every quarter and never challenged at any point.
Gilmore stated, “They (Holly) could be the team to win it this year. They were deep with tall athletic guys and pretty much all of them could score.”
The Eagles, for the second night in a row, shot dismally as they were 1-for-22 from three-point land for a 5% performance. Parker led Eads with 9 points and 10 boards, while senior Zach Haase had 8 points and pulled down an impressive 13 boards against the very physical Wildcats. Hernandez had 7 points and 4 steals.
The weekend was not kind to the freshman-loaded JV group either as they lost, 42-18, to Kit Carson; and 46-24 to Holly. In the Carson JV game Eads struggled to score against the tough Cat defense. In fact, they would not score in the third period. However, they did finish hard in Carson. Brandon Lening led Eads with 11 points, including three long-balls. Kit Carson enjoyed production from eight players. Lening was still hot on Saturday night as he led Eads with 9 points.
Gilmore’s Eagles continue to battle through the toughest part of the season. On Thursday, they host yet another Top-10 team when the South-Baca Patriots (#9) come to town. Friday will see the Kim-Branson group making a visit. These games are ones Eads can win if they will get back to the basics they had been demonstrating early in the season. Gilmore put it best, “Our schedule isn’t getting any easier so we have got to develop short memories and move on so we can continue to compete.”