EAST PRAIRIE - The East Prairie Eagles rolled to their fifth win of the season Friday night with a convincing 71-36 victory over the Richland Rebels. The Eagles have only two losses. Richland falls to 2-4.
The Eagles played nine players in the contest and all of them scored. Preston Shoemaker led all scorers with 17 points and was joined in double figures by Ben Walters' 16 and Mitchell Winchester's 15.
"We fouled too much, putting them on the line for easy points, but in the second half, our kids played a lot harder and I was proud of our effort," said Eagle coach Jason Irby. "Everybody we played scored. We've got a lot of depth this year and it showed tonight, we just kept running them in and out tonight and the kids kept playing hard for us."
East Prairie hit the floor running from the opening tip, playing well on both ends of the floor.
Three 3-pointers in the opening quarter sparked the offense and the Eagle quickness on defense held the Rebels to only nine points in the period and East Prairie led 17-9 after one period.
A 12-2 Eagle run in the first half of the second stanza put the Rebels in a 29-11 hole.
Richland recovered slightly late in that second period, but trailed by 33-17 at the intermission.
"Our kids had a really good second half, the effort was good the entire game, but in the first half they didn't do the things that they normally do, like talk on defense and get good position on defense.
"We reached a lot and didn't move our feet. The stuff they normally do, they just didn't do in the first half. In the second half they did better," commented Richland coach Jeff Jennewein, who was filling in for Doyle Denbow.
The Eagles outscored Richland 15-9 in third quarter to take a 48-26 advantage into the final frame and coasted to the win.
Richland was led in scoring by Blake Waters who had 10. Matt Malloy and Cameron Whitaker each had six in the losing effort.
Both East Prairie and Richland will play next in the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.
East Prairie, who is seeded 10th in the pairings, will face number seven Van Buren at 6:30 on December 27th and Richland, seeded 13th will take on number three Twin Rivers at 1:45.
East Prairie's jayvee defeated the junior Rebels 62-48.