It was a challenging week for the Elyria Christian School boys basketball team after having to play two games and two days against both Little River High School on Friday, and Central Christian High School Saturday. That did not excuse the Eagles of not getting the win, for and the Eagles being on a five-game winning streak, they are named Team of the Week, presented by the McPherson Sentinel.
On Friday against Little River, the Eagles put on a a dominating performance on the road as they defeated the Redskins 51-23 on the road. The next day, it was encore performance in their 49-39 win over Central Christian. For Head Coach Zach Goodrich, it was the experience he wanted for his Eagles.
"One of the things that we tried always was to put a learning experience on different situations of the season, and one of those situations was to play back-to-back near post season whether it's on a Friday-Saturday or Thursday-Friday," Goodrich said. "Those are quick turnarounds, and one of those things we focus on is be prepared because we don't know what another team is going to do, but we just want to make sure that we are dialing in the things we needed to do well.
"We know Little River and Central Christian are a well-coached team. We did the little things and were able to get things done," Goodrich continued.
The Eagles are used to relying upon their top three scorers in Caleb Froese, Tyler Huxman and Aidan Fields, however, the player that emerged as the Eagles' top shooter was Zach Stucky. Against Central Christian shot 4-for-5 (80 percent) from the 3-point line, and led ECS with 19 points On Tuesday's win over Wakefield High School, Stucky, despite making only one 3-pointer, he was still shooting 40 percent on the court with nine points. Goodrich has been impressed by Stucky stepping up for ECS outside their big three scoring leaders.
"I've been trying to preach to him that he can be that offensive mindset. He has all the skills and definitely has the ability. It's one of those things to figure out mentally on how he needs to be that aggressive," Goodrich said. "I told him to watch Russell Westbrook, and how he is always on the attack. We have (Tyler) Huxman, Aidan Fields and Caleb Froese the teams are keying on, so there's a lot of guy who can step up for us for the rest of the season, he's going make us really hard to defend."
The Eagles, now 7-3, started the season 0-2. Since then, they have won six of the last seven games with the majority of them were on the road. Their win against Central Christian was only their second home game of the year, and Wakefield, being their third. It worked out for them because they are 3-0 at home and No.1 in the Wheat State League.
"It's nice to play in front of your fans. We were limited in seating, we knew it was going to be a good crowd just being close to proximity, Goodrich says. "It's just a fun atmosphere us and Moundridge, so we had to move it over, but we were okay with that with post season we might play Moundridge on the road. Good thing for us because we never play in that gym."
Next game for the Eagles will back on the road as they take on Rural Vista High School (6-2) on Friday, Jan.11 at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports