Hardwood Heroes

Our Lucy Schaefer breaks down the matchup between the Eastern Eagles and South Gallia Rebels on February 20th, 2023

Young Eastern Eagles team falls short in Crown City

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CROWN CITY, Ohio (WOUB) – At the end of the day, as it has been for much of the past few seasons, the Eagles fell just short. 

Ethan Edwards’ desperation attempt clanked off the glass as the final buzzer rang out in Crown City as the South Gallia Rebels (8-14, 2-10) held on to defeat the Eastern Eagles (4-19, 2-10) 55-53 in the Division IV Section 15 Sectional play-in game. 

“They played their tails off,” said Eastern head coach David Kight. “We fought hard till the end and I couldn’t be more proud of them.” 

The Eagles did indeed play their tails off, even when it looked like it just wasn’t going to be their night at multiple points. 

When the Eagles led by one right at the end of the second quarter, South Gallia’s Brycen Stanley hit an incredulous 3-quarter court shot to give the Rebels a two-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime. 

Then a 14-9 SG quarter seemed to pull the Rebels out of reach for the Eagles, but they would claw back in the 4th. 

Brady Rockhold and Colton Lloyd hit clutch 3-pointers to bring the deficit to 54-53 with 30 seconds remaining, and Tanner Boothe missed from the line giving Eastern the ball back. 

After a timeout, Rockhold’s initial shot was blocked, and Lloyd’s three was off the mark. 

After a timeout, Edwards’ shot fell short. 

Despite that missed free throw in the clutch, Boothe stole the show for the Rebels. He had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way in both categories for the victorious South Gallia squad. 

Stanley had three 3’s including that buzzer-beater, to add to 11 points, seven rebounds, and 4 assists. 

4 Eastern scorers (Lloyd, Rockhold, Connor Nolan, and Trey Hill) went over double digit points for the Eagles in the loss. 

The Eagles shot just 19% from beyond the arc, compared to 36% for the Rebels. 

Rebels coach Travis Elliot knew the challenges his team faced tonight, as well as the ones that lie ahead. 

“This was a great team we just played,” he said. “That was a battle, and Friday’s going to be a challenge too.” 

Friday holds an elite challenge for the Rebels – South Webster, the region’s second-ranked team. 

For the Eagles, they can hold their heads high after a valiant effort, but Coach Kight knows the best is yet to come. 

“We’re a young squad, and those boys will remember this,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back in the gym with these guys and go to work.”