After defeating Marion High School last Friday, the Elyria Christian School boys basketball team has been awarded the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, as presented by the McPherson Sentinel.

A win over a 2A school like Marion brings more confidence to the Eagles as they reach the final stretch of the season. ECS head coach Zach Goodrich looked back at the victory against a worthy opponent like Marion in comparison to the strong schools in their class.

“Marion is a good team, coming from a strong conference. We just want to be prepared if we come out on the victorious side or taking defeat. We just want to play well and I felt that we did that,” Goodrich said.

The Eagles had their best start in program history, going undefeated in the first 14 games of the season. Even with a winning record, the Eagles dealt with some growing pains. In the middle of the season, they lost three of their starters due to injuries, leaving eight players active, half of which are freshmen.

“With our injuries, we had to find ourselves with the new roster. So that was our best game with our new roster. Hopefully, we get the other guys back. It’s good to see how well we performed with the guys we have on the court,” said Tyler Thiessen, who led the team with 17 points against Marion.

Dealing with the injury bug and depth took a toll on the Eagles, when their winning streak snapped by losing two games in a row. Goodrich had to make some adjustments and had to search for their identity.

“We just want to focus on ourselves. We had a week or two where we had a lot of new guys come in and that made a difference. Some guys work on one end and the other guys working together. Having three starters was out a big part of that and it also made us better,” Goodrich said.

What remained consistent for the Eagles is their defense. All season long, the Eagles have only given up an average of 34.1 points per game. The Eagles are still looking to get better on defense.

“Our biggest thing we need to improve is our attention to detail defensively. We just want to be sharp. We kind of fell off by not moving our feet and fouling quite a bit. We just want to stay sharp, see our rotations and making sure that guys are closing out on good shooters and playing the drive when someone can attack the basket,” Goodrich said.

Due to weather conditions, the Eagles’ Tuesday game against Central Christian has been rescheduled to Thursday night and they’ll finish off their season against Tescott High School.

It has been announced that the Eagles will hold the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A Division II, and will have a first-round bye during the Sub-State tournament. The Eagles will face the winner, either Chase High School or Stafford High School, next week on Thursday.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_