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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

East Prairie guards carry load against Richland

Sunday, December 17, 2006

East Prairie's Paris Tipler defends Richland's Tommy Stafford.
EAST PRAIRIE - The East Prairie Eagles notched a win before the Christmas holiday at home on Friday night over the Richland Rebels, 81-68.

East Prairie had four players reach double figures and the backcourt tandem of Paris Tipler and Randy Woods combined to score 46 points for the Eagles.

"Randy and Paris picked up the slack for us tonight," said East Prairie head coach Matt Schonhoff. "We have been sick all week and I thought we got our step back tonight. I don't think we are all the way back, but the kids fought through it and played hard tonight."

The Eagles full-court pressed the Rebels all night and forced 21 turnovers, many of which led to easy transition baskets by Tipler or Woods.

"We are a young team and when we make turnovers, we make them in clusters," said Richland head coach Casey Knight. "I thought we did a good job early of breaking the pressure. As the game went on, our youth caught up with us and we made some turnovers that East Prairie converted into easy points."

Richland's Nick Harris soard for a layup.
East Prairie broke open a tight game in the second quarter, outscoring Richland 23-15. The Eagles led 32-26 with 4:38 left in the second and proceeded to go on a 12-4 over the next three minutes to lead 44-30 with one minute remaining in the first half.

Woods led the charge for East Prairie in the second quarter with 10 points, many of those were on strong drives to the basket for two points.

Cameron Whittaker kept the Rebels in the contest in the first half, scoring 19 points to lead Richland.

"Richland played hard tonight and that No. 10 (Whittaker), played a heck of a game," said Schonhoff. "We had a hard time finding him in the early part of the game. He took the ball to the hole hard and got our big people down low in foul trouble."

Despite leading 44-33 at the break, East Prairie's big man, Tony Jones, did not see much action in the first half due to foul trouble. The Eagles' guard trio took charge in the half with Tipler, Woods and M.C. Williams combining to score 30 of the 44 points for East Prairie.

"I thought our perimeter people did a nice job tonight," said Schonhoff. "They took the ball to the hole and also drained the 3-point shot. In addition, our guards played solid defense on Richland's 3-point shot."

Richland came out in the second half on fire and cut into the Eagle lead. Whittaker scored 11 points in the third quarter, including a big 3-pointer that cut the East Prairie lead to 49-46 with five minutes left in the third.

"I thought the boys attacked and played well as a team," said Knight. "This is only our second game with all of our players healthy. We got down by 12 and 11 points in the game and both times our kids responded to cut the lead to three points. We just need to learn to get over the hump and keep a lead for the win."

Leading 49-46, Tipler responded for East Prairie with a big 3-pointer to up the lead to six. With Jones on the bench with four fouls most of the third quarter, Tipler responded by hitting two 3's and pouring in nine points, to expand East Prairie's lead to 61-52 heading into the fourth quarter.

Richland could never come within reach of East Prairie in the fourth quarter. The Eagles outscored the Rebels 20-16 in the fourth, led by Tipler who had nine points in the frame to lead East Prairie to victory.

Whittaker led all scorers with 35 points on the night and also hauled down five rebounds for the Rebels.

"Cameron is our leader on the floor," said Knight. "He is a quiet leader, he lets his play on the floor do all his talking."

Tommy Stafford was the only other double-digit scorer for Richland as he chipped in 11 points and had seven rebounds. Nick Harris had a good game with seven points and seven rebounds, while freshman Drew Thornton led the Rebels in rebounding with nine rebounds and had five points.

Tipler ended the night with 26 points, five assists, three steals and three rebounds for East Prairie. Woods poured in 20 points and Williams finished his night with eight points for a very good night for the Eagle backcourt.

Tyler Branam did nice work in the post for the Eagles finishing with 12 points and six rebounds. In limited minutes, Jones led East Prairie with 11 rebounds (seven offensive) and had 10 points.

East Prairie (5-2) and Richland (2-3) will both be off until the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament which begins on Dec. 26.

The Eagles earned the No. 5 seed and will face No. 12 Van Buren in the first round at 3:30 p.m.

The Rebels are seeded No. 16 and will face top seed Malden to open up the tournament at 10:00 a.m.