Goshen Eagles fall in Thanksgiving tourney
Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Goshen Eagles struggled to maintain focus Wednesday afternoon and dropped the final game of the Wicksburg Thanksgiving Tournament, losing to Wicksburg 54-52.
After picking up big wins against Samson, 60-53, and Graceville, 49-44, the Eagles entered Wednesday’s game with what head coach Ethan Carroll described as a lack of focus.
“We got complacent,” Carroll said. “We came out really flat. We are fighting our energy level a lot. These kids have to realize that basketball never changes. No matter who you play, you have to come out with the same energy level or something like this will happen.”
The Eagles fell behind by 11 points in the third quarter but were able to come back and take the lead within the final minutes of regulation. A key layup late in the fourth quarter and with an Eagle foul gave the Panthers the momentum they needed to rally and win.
The Eagles faced an aggressive, quick and disciplined Panther team.
“They had an excellent game plan,” Carroll said. “They had a couple of players on the team that shot the ball really well from outside. They kind of shot us outside the zone.”
This was the first loss of the season for the Eagles.
“With a team this young, I am glad we had a loss like this early on in the season,” Carroll said. “They need to understand what it takes to be a good program.”
Sophomore Mike Hollis led the Eagles with 28 points including 20 at halftime.
Carroll attributed the lack of focus to being a young basketball program.
“We just have to focus more,” Carroll said. “ I didn’t think we had focus at the beginning of the game. It just something that we have been battling with a young program. Maybe a loss like this will open some eyes up and show them how much harder we need to work.”
Carroll said the tournament offered him the opportunity to see the strengths and opportunities for his team.
“We are still looking for our identity,” Carroll said. “We need focus on our kids knowing their role on the team is. The biggest thing this tournament showed us is that it doesn’t matter who we beat the night before, the next game is the most important game.”
The Eagles travel to play Highland Home on Tuesday.