EAST PRAIRIE - East Prairie's Jordan Sanders hit three treys while leading the Eagles (6-8) to a 61-44 win over the Delta Bobcats (2-10) on Friday night.
"I thought the key for us tonight was using our 2-3 zone on defense to guard their big man," said East Prairie's head coach Jason Irby. "We knew that coming in tonight we were going to have to contain Joey Keys and I felt like we did for the most part, as he only scored 10 points. I feel really good about that.
"Also I thought we had really good balance tonight. We had a lot of kids score and everyone gave a good effort. We do need to work on our boxing out, but I did think we did a better job of it on defense in the second half."
Delta's head coach Robert Stein said, "They are a very athletic team. We did not expect them to be as good as they were, but they are a very fast, very quick team. We just got out-played tonight.
"Their 2-3 defense was tough down low and we just couldn't get our postmen to put the ball in. Coach Irby has really done a good job with his ball-club over here. I remember what this place was like before he got here, and now look at it. He has a great program here and I wish him the best of luck."
Senior Eagle Matt Boyer dropped in eight points in the first quarter as he hit two buckets and a field goal to give East Prairie a 17-9 after one period.
The Eagles inched even further ahead in the second frame as Roger Swann and Sanders both dropped in four points to give East Prairie a 31-20 lead at the half.
Keys was the only bright spot for Delta in the first half as he scored eight points in the first half, 40 percent of his team's offense.
Things began to pick up for East Prairie in the third quarter as Sanders nailed in eight and Brent Harland chalked up seven points. After the frame the Eagles held a 48-31 lead and cruised to the victory.
"We feel like we really did a good job defensively tonight," said Coach Irby. "Like I said, our 2-3 zone worked really well and we were able to get people in their passing lanes and run the ball up the floor."
"We've got to learn to take care of the ball," said Coach Stein. "I did not get to get my sophomores in the game as much as I would have liked to tonight because of the J.V. game, so our passes weren't as crisp as they should have been and some of us still have some really bad habits we have to deal with."
In the junior varsity matchup Delta won its ninth game of the season, pushing their record to 9-5. The game though, was every bit as close as the 43-42 score.
Even though East Prairie had a half dozen lead at the half, Delta would come back and get to within two when freshman Aaron Kinder pick up a loose ball and was fouled with two seconds left.
Kinder went to the line, but before his first attempt, East Prairie sophomore James Wilson was given a technical foul. The tech gave Kinder four free throw attempts and Delta the ball back.
Kinder hit three of the four from the charity stripe and, even on a sailing inbound, the Bobcats were able to hold on for the one point win.
"We have a good J.V.," said Coach Stein. "We have some very good guards and I think our post players have a lot of ability, we just have to work with them to get them to be more physical. I think we have a good mix here and will be very well equipped for the next couple of years."