Eagles get by Gamecocks in area tournament

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

By Michael Shipma:

The Goshen boy’s basketball team picked up a win in the first round of the 2A Area 5 championship tournament on Tuesday night, knocking off New Brockton 53-44.

The Eagles were led by sophomore guards Zach Alford, who scored 23 points, and Michael Hollis, who tallied 12.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“This wasn’t one of the best games we’ve played,” head coach Ethan Carroll said after the game. “We only have one senior, one junior, and eight or nine sophomores on the team. These kind of games are brand new to them because it’s a new experience. As far as execution, we didn’t do well, but what I love about this team is its resilience.”

The game was close from the start, as both teams came out shooting the ball well and getting out in transition. Goshen was able to execute a 1-2-2 zone that helped frustrate the Gamecocks’ game plan of running set plays in a half-court offense. The Eagles were able to keep pace with New Brockton and slowed the tempo down enough to make stops down the stretch.

Sophomore guard Azavion Roberts came up big for Goshen, hitting a couple threes late in the game to help widen the spread between the two sides. The Eagles had a breakout fourth quarter to help seal the win, scoring 17 points to secure their spot in the area championship game on Friday.

Senior guard Xavier Griffin was the leading scorer for New Brockton with 11 points.

“This win takes a lot off our backs,” Carroll said. “We set a goal of what we wanted to do here, and this one gives us that confidence that we do belong here and that we’re capable of getting things done.”

Goshen will face the winner of the Zion Chapel/Elba game on Friday night to determine the area champion and which team will have home court advantage in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.