Goshen prepares for area

Published 1:20 pm Monday, December 31, 2018

After a lengthy Christmas break, the Goshen Eagles got back to work on Sunday when they began preparations for what they hope is a strong finish to their season.

The Eagles entered the season under first-year head coach Daniell Powell. In Powell’s first 10 games at the helm, the Eagles have started 5-5 with area play looming.

“In the first part of the season, I think we were trying to find ourselves,” Powell said. “We were trying to find out what kind of ball club we are going to be and who we can be. As we get into the next part of the season, we want to try and get on a roll and get back into a rhythm of things.”

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The Eagles open up the 2019 portion of their schedule with a showdown with rival Ariton in Goshen. They then follow that up with a makeup game against Highland Home before getting area play under way.

“If we can get a good game out of Ariton and then get into area play and get on a roll, I think we will be alright,” Powell said.

The Eagles, like most local teams, had to quickly adjust to basketball season after most of the players transitioned from football to basketball.

The Eagles also had to adjust to the coaching of Powell. For that reason, the first-year head coach is pleased with his team’s start.

“We played a really hard schedule,” Powell said. “We played Calhoun twice, played at Ariton and then we played at Luverne. We played a very tough schedule and I think it will help once we get into area play. Once we get into area it will be a little less strenuous on us.”

One of the Eagles’ main strengths have been brothers Caleb and Dante Dawson according to Powell. Both players have provided a spark for the Eagles offense.

“They’re consistent,” Powell said. “Every game I know what I am going to get out of them. They really hold the team together and they lead the way. They’re the leaders of the team.”

Dante Dawson got limited playing time off the bench in the early stages of the season. By season’s end, Dawson quickly got more playing time under former head coach Ethan Carroll.

“He has gotten better at finishing around the rim and offensive rebounding for us,” Powell said.

His brother Caleb Dawson, more well-known as a football player, has provided the defense in the paint for the Eagles.

“He is just a solid defensive player,” Powell said. “He is a rim stopper. He may not be six foot five, but he can jump pretty high and block a lot of shots for us. He averages over 10 rebounds per game. He is just going to be a solid presence for us down low in the paint.”

Tre Dix has provided some scoring punch off the bench for the Eagles.

“When he gets in the game, he is a pretty good shooter,” Powell said. “Once he gets into rhythm in a game and starts shooting, he is going to be a pretty good player for us.”

One of the negatives for the Eagles in the early going has been conditioning and the failure to finish games when it comes to endurance.

“Goal number one is making sure we have the endurance to play four quarters,” Powell said. “We will play good for three quarters and then we run out of energy. We have to get in shape and have enough stamina for four quarters.”

The Eagles will host Ariton on January 3 before taking on Highland Home on January 5. The Eagles will ramp up area play on January 10 when they host Samson.