For the first time this season, the Goshen Eagles were playing on their own court.
Even though the team was down early, it fought back late.
GHS played host to the Bullock County Hornets and thanks to a sloppy first half, dropped its home opener 52-41, however the final score was much closer than it appears.
At halftime, the Eagles trailed 38-15, allowing the Hornets to go on a 20-7 run to end the first two quarters of play.
“We didn’t talk about any kind of strategy at the [halftime] break,” head coach Jonathan Deveridge said after the game.
“We talked about playing with heart.”
“This was our first home game, and we didn’t want a bad loss to be our first impression [to our fans].”
The second half was a completely different story for the Eagles as the team came out ready to make up for its previous lack luster half.
Thanks to the play of Antonio Brown and Reginald Foster, GHS was able to mount a comeback, holding the Hornets to three points and 11 points, respectively, in the third and fourth quarters.
The Eagles scored 12 and 14 points in those quarters.
Brown cut the lead down to just eight points with a cross over jumper with 3:01, at 39-47, and then Brandon Alford was able to cut the lead to just six points on the next position, however that was as close as the Eagles would get.
BCHS would ice the game away with free throws, securing its first win of the season in the process.
“I have never believed in moral victories – but if I did, this would definitely be one,” Deveridge said.
“I thought our kids played a pretty good game.”
The loss drops GHS to 0-3 on the season.
“Even though we lost, this is a game that I feel the team will be able to work off of,” he said.
“We played pretty poorly in the first half of the game, we didn’t play with any intensity. But in the second half, I thought we looked completely different.”
Foster led the team in points with 14, while Brown finished the game with 11, nine of which came in the second half.
“Free throws were a big problem for us tonight as well as turnover,” Deveridge said.
“If we would have been able to take advantage of our free throws, I think we would have been able to win this ball game.”
Even though the team was not able to take advantage of its free throws, the coach said he did see a lot of improvement.
“I thought our press worked really well tonight,” he said.
“We hadn’t worked on it all that much this season but once we started it we were able to get back into the ball game.
“This is one of those games where a team learns a lot and begins to improve and I think our guys will do that,” the coach said.
Prior to the men’s action, both the girls’ varsity team and the boys’ JV team fell to BCHS.
The girls lost by the score of 53-35.
“Bullock County is a very good and athletic team,” girls’ head coach Sam Dean said following the team’s loss.
“I thought the girls played pretty well though, against a tough competition.”
The loss drops the team to 2-4 on the season.
Diamond Cottrell and Ivia Pollard led the Eagles in points with 13 apiece.
“I have been pretty pleased with the team so far [this season] – our shooting was off tonight. “But I think once we start shooting better we will start to see some better results,” Dean said.
The boys’ JV team lost 37-10 to the Hornets. The team trailed 22-5 with under three minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Hornets opened the fourth quarter with seven straight unanswered points helping them to the 27-point victory.