Eagles snap streak against Squadron
For the second time in a week, the Goshen boys’ varsity team snapped a long standing streak.
It didn’t come without first shedding some blood, sweat and tears however.
The Eagles beat the Flying Squadron of Highland Home by the score of 66-63 Thursday night and in the process snapped a nine game losing streak to HHHS.
What ended as a nail biter, started out as a blowout.
After leading throughout the most of the game by double-digits, the Eagles staved off a late charge by the Squadron thanks to two Reginald Foster free throws with under 10 seconds remaining in the game to secure the win.
“Word cannot describe how great this win is,” head coach Jonathan Deveridge said.
“When I got back to the looker room to talk to the guys, I just broke down in tears.”
This was the Eagles’ first win over the Flying Squadron in nine tries – a three year span.
The win also improved the team’s record to 3-13, and more importantly 3-2 in 2A Area 5 play, which is good enough for second place.
GHS set the tone early on in the game, thanks to the play of Antonio Brown.
Brown, who finished with a game high 19 points, hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to help give the Eagles a nine-point advantage after one period.
The Eagles would continue the assault, jumping out to a 18-point lead at one point in the second quarter, before settling for a 15-point lead going into the half.
Highland Home would answer back in the following two periods however.
The Flying Squadron would go on a 15-9 run in the third to cut the lead to just nine points before a late Eagles’ rally brought the lead back up to 11 points, at 54-45 going into the fourth quarter.
HHHS would again go on a run, cutting GHS’ lead to just two points with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
With 18 seconds left, the Squadron took the lead for the first time in the game at 63-62.
“To be honest, the only thing that was going through my mind was Deja Vu,” the coach said.
“We had been in this same type of situation before so many other times before – and it looked like it was about to happen again.”
Fortunately for Deveridge and his club, this night would end differently.
With nine seconds remaining in the game, Foster would drive the lane only to get hit in the head with an elbow and in the process getting two free throw attempts.
The sophomore would hit both attempts, giving the Eagles the lead and the eventual win.
“I had to make [the free throws],” Foster said. “I kept thinking ‘we have got to win this game’.”
“Everyone has worked so hard in practice lately – this is a big win for this team,” the forward added.
Forster would finish with 16 points, 10 of which were scored in the third quarter.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Deveridge said with a laugh when talking about how his team has turned its season around
“The coaches and I have been staying on the kids and preaching positivity all season long. The kids have been working hard in practice couple of weeks and it is finally starting to show on the court.
“Tonight is extra sweet,” the coach continued.
“I have always said no win is bigger than the next – but this win was the biggest I have ever been a part of.”
The Eagles will look to continue its winning ways again tonight, on the road as the team will face the leader in the area standing, Reeltown.
Like the boys’ team, the girls’ varsity team also defeated Highland Home and in the process secured a home game in the upcoming area tournament.
The Eagles were able to top the Flying Squadron 35-27, despite committing 21 turnover and shooting eight of 22 from the free throw line.
“We came out a little flat,” head coach Sam Dean said about the game’s first three minutes.
“But we were able to wake up and get back on pace.”
With the win, the Eagles are 7-5 overall and 5-0 in Area play.
“To be able to play on our home court during the tournament is very important,” Dean said.
“The girls are used to this court – they know which way the ball is going to come off the rim.
“Plus to have the home crowd is definitely going to help us mentally – this was a big win for us.”
Ivia Pollard and Diamond Cotrell each had big nights in the win with 10 and eight points, respectively.