Trailing 29-26 at the break, the Eagles retained the services of 6-foot-2 junior Tony Jones in the second half after serving a suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct at the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.
Before Jones entered the game in the third quarter, the Wildcats went up 35-26 with 5:50 to play in the quarter when East Prairie substituted Jones into the contest.
Once Jones entered the game, the intensity on the entire Eagles team went sky high. Over the next three minutes, East Prairie went on a 13-2 run and led 39-37 with two minutes to play in the fourth.
"No. 44 (Jones) is a great athlete," said Bloomfield head coach Dave Lanning. "We had a difficult time trying to stop him. I believe any team in the area will have problems trying to stop him."
Bloomfield still led heading into the fourth quarter 44-43, when the Eagles amped up the full-court pressure and took control of the game.
The Eagles began the fourth on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a Randy Woods pass off the glass to Jones for a two-handed flush to electrify the crowd. East Prairie led 52-47 with six minutes to play in the game after the Eagles finished up with a 9-3 run.
"The bottom line is that Tony is our best player when he is on the floor," said East Prairie head coach Matt Schonhoff. "Tony is not our whole team. I thought our guys played well in the first half without him. Tony seemed to be a little rusty when he first got into the game, but once he got going we started clicking and playing our style of basketball."
East Prairie raced out to a 58-48 lead with 3:40 to play in the fourth quarter, paced by Jones' nine points in the quarter.
Bloomfield's Kyle Williamson kept the Wildcats close by hitting three 3's in the quarter, but four points was as close as Bloomfield would get in the last two minutes. The Eagles outscored the Wildcats 25-15 in the fourth and came away with the 68-59 victory.
The Wildcats only committed five turnovers in the first half, but turned the ball over 15 times in the second half.
"We did not handle the ball well at all tonight," said Lanning. "We were just too impatient. The guys have to learn to handle pressure and be secure in their ball-handling. If we just turned the ball over half as much as we did, we win by 15 points."
Bloomfield controlled the action in the first half by controlling the boards without Jones in the middle for the Eagles. The Wildcats jumped out to a 25-17 lead in the second quarter, thanks to a 13-0 run.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Eagles 25-18 in the first half, 11-5 on the offensive boards to gain the three point halftime advantage.
East Prairie's pressure defense frustrated the Wildcats and forced Bloomfield to commit 20 turnovers in the contest. The Eagles had 11 steals as a team, led by Randy Woods and Paris Tipler with three each.
"I was very impressed with our guards," said Schonhoff. "Our guards pressed hard and got us out in transition. We limited our turnovers which kept us in the game."
Williamson led Bloomfield with 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Kurt Dumey had 13 points and led the Wildcats with 11 rebounds.
Tipler led East Prairie with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Jones finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in one half of action.
Woods had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists from his guard position. M.C. Williams ended his night with seven points, three rebounds and three assists for the Eagles.
Bloomfield (3-6) hosts Gideon on Friday at 6 p.m.
East Prairie (7-4) hosts the Cooter Wildcats on Friday also at 6 p.m.
The Risco Tigers could not hold on to a fourth quarter lead against the Hayti Indians at home on Tuesday night and fell 67-59.
The Tigers led by one point with one minute to play in the contest when consecutive turnovers cost Risco the lead and the win.
Hayti scored consecutive baskets off the Tigers' turnovers and hit their free-
throws to seal the victory.
Ricky Davis led Risco with 20 points hitting four 3-pointers. Kyle White hit three 3's on his way to 14 points for the Tigers.
William Cooper and Denzel Presberry led the Indians with 12 points apiece. Risco (1-7) hosts the Clarkton Reindeer on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The Oran Lady Eagles advanced to the second round of the Lady Bobcats Tournament at Delta with a 55-17 win over Meadow Heights on Tuesday night.
Oran led the Lady Panthers at halftime 28-12 and iced the game with a 21-2 advantage in the third quarter.
Junior Callie Kielhofner led Oran with 16 points. Erica Michelsen pumped in 15 points, while Alyson Seyer and Wendy Eftink each chipped in seven points apiece for the Lady Eagles.
Oran (4-3) will face St. Vincent today at 7:30 p.m.