Still searching: After late start, Eagles look to hit their stride

Published 9:10 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

Just three games into their regular season, the Goshen Eagles are still trying to get into a rhythm under first-year head coach Daniell Powell.

The Eagles have dropped each of their last two games after they knocked off Houston Academy in the season opener.

All three games have been competitive on the scoreboard. After defeating Houston Academy by two points, the Eagles lost to Calhoun and Ariton by a combined 14 points. They fell to Ariton on Thursday night in overtime.

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“I thought we played hard,” Powell said. “I just think we are going through some growing pains right now. We are just trying to learn each other. Trying to get into the flow of playing with each other.”

The Eagles roster features five seniors, but it also has its fair share of youth as well. Throughout the first three games of the season, it’s been a work in progress for the Eagles.

“I have a lot of young guys that don’t have a lot of varsity experience,” Powell said.

On top of having young and inexperienced players, the Eagles have also been going through the growing pains of learning Powell’s new system, which features plenty of transitional offense and suffocating defense.

“They just have to learn our system and how I coach,” Powell said. “We just have to learn each other; we are still trying to figure each other out. Once we understand what I want from them, then we can get better at the end of the season.”

In Thursday’s overtime loss to Ariton, the Eagles had three players finish in double figures led by RaQuan Martin, who finished with 21 points. Dakarai Pelton finished with 16 points, while Dante Dawson had 10.

“I learned that my team is willing to fight to the end,” Powell said. “It was a tough game. We didn’t have a lot of calls go our way. We still fought and kept fighting to the end.”

One thing that Powell has learned throughout the first three games is his team needs to be able to score in transition.

“We have to score in transition,” Powell said. “If we don’t score in transition then we are going to struggle a little bit. We need to work on driving to the basket and not take so many outside shots.”

Like a lot of local teams, the Goshen Eagles are still transitioning from the football field to the basketball court.

“We don’t have our legs underneath us yet,” Powell said. “We are still a little tired. We have to get running and get into shape. We were in football shape now we need to get into basketball shape. We are going to keep working and grinding until we get to where we need to be.”

The Eagles look to get back to the .500 mark on Tuesday when they host Highland Home.

“It’s going to be very exciting,” Powell said. “I’m hoping we can get a win because we really need a win to get some morale. I’m excited to get a win in front of the home-town crowd.”