No. 7 Eagles head south

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2002

Sports Editor

In high school basketball, old foes never die.

They just turn up next year ready for a rematch.

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Seventh-ranked Goshen will open the 2A Southwest Regional in Mobile with R.C. Hatch High School, the same opponent the Eagles had to fight off in last year’s semifinal round at South Alabama University.

Goshen led by as many as 23 points in the first half, but had to absorb a late Bobcats’ challenge to advance to the regional finals. R.C. Hatch cut the lead to 71-70 with a 35-foot three-point shot and just a minute to play.

But Goshen’s Darius Flowers and Averick Rogers hit four straight foul shots in the final seconds and preserved the Eagles’ victory.

"I remember that we got up by 18 or 20 points and then we had to hold on at the end," said GHS head coach Major Lane.

GHS went on to beat Southern Choctaw and make it to the Final Four in Birmingham.

R.C Hatch went home.

Now they’re back.

"I think they (Hatch) basically have the same team as last year and they’re outstanding," said Lane. "We’re going to have to just come out and play our brand of basketball and I’m sure our kids will rise to the challenge."

Goshen bounced back from a 75-73 loss in the area tournament to Red Level to take a sub-regional win on the road in Silas against Southern Choctaw.

Junior Kendaris Pelton scored 25 points in the 54-45 win, the only Eagles’ player in double figures.

"I was very pleased with the effort we had against Southern Choctaw," said Lane. "The guys worked had for me. Of course, they worked hard against Red Level also, but we didn’t execute as well."

A win over R.C. Hatch may mean a rematch with the No. 10 Tigers, who face off against fourth-ranked Calera (21-7) in the other 2A semifinal contest.

Lane isn’t concerned with that right now.

"I just want a win over R.C. Hatch," he said.

Game time is at 8 p.m.