It was another tough game for the struggling Eads boys’ basketball team as they continue to slide in the regular season schedule. They would lose a slow game, 72-31, to the #3 ranked Wiley Panthers in Wiley on Thursday night. With the loss, first year Coach Russell Parker will need to try to regroup the team as they quickly head toward post-season play. This week doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles who have been playing without two starters, including the Eagles’ leading scorer in Caden Parker, as they travel to Kit Carson on Friday night to take on their rivals up the road, the #5 (11-3) Wildcats. And the hits just keep coming as Saturday night they will walk into the Plainview High School gym to face off with the defending state champions the #2 Holly Wildcats (12-3). Eads is now 6-7 overall.
Facing textbook defensive pressure from the Wiley Panthers, Eads struggled to score and it wouldn’t be until the 2:11 mark of the first period when Cameron Crow would find the basket and the scoreboard with Eads trailing 16-2. To add injury to insult, team leader Dylan Dixon was already on the bench by then with two early fouls. By the end of the first Eads trailed 21-2 and Wiley’s point guard, Eastin, had already drilled two of his five eventual long balls in the game. But the bulk of the points and rebounds came from Wiley’s Dellamaestra as the 6’5 big man had 11 points before taking a break midway through the period.
The second period got worse as Wiley poured it on drilling 27 points behind Eastin’s three balls and Wiley’s phenomenal 8-for-9 free throw shooting in the second. Eads showed a spark as Dixon hit for 5 straight points midway through the period, but ultimately the numerous Eagle turnovers killed any chance of getting back into the ballgame. And, as is evident from the number of charity shots Wiley got, Eads was in serious foul trouble and had to go deep into the bench. The rest of the game was the same as the Eagles got further behind the offensive power of the Panthers. Eastin would end with 20 points while Dellamaestra added 18 more. For Eads it was Dixon with most of the production hitting for 13 points while Stephen Wilson hit a couple of late three balls for six points.
Despite this low time in the Eagle season, don’t count the Eads boys out just yet. They know how to win as is evident from the state championship football crown they had a part in last fall. They also hope to get two starters, Parker and sophomore Trey McDowell, back into the lineup as they get nearer to the post-season. If they can pull together and work on their game they may be a team to watch in late February.