EAGLES MARCH INTO REGION TITLE GAME
Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Pleasant Home Eagles earned their 17th straight win after knocking off the Linden Patriots 59-49 on Friday night in the Class 1A South Regional semi-final game in Dothan.
Tyler Myrick put the Eagles on the board first with a smooth jumper to start the contest.
The next time down the court Hunter Ward picked up a bucket after coming down with an offensive rebound, and then moments later Ward dropped in a layup to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead to open the match.
Linden got a couple of quick buckets to inch closer to Eagles, but Robert Scott buried his first 3-pointer of the game to put the Eagles up 9-4.
Nic Woods closed out the first period with a layup to give Pleasant Home an 11-7 lead heading into the second frame.
Scott came out on fire in the second period connecting with a back-to-back layups and a 3-pointer to push the Eagles to an 18-13 lead.
Walt Weaver got his first bucket of the game after driving into the for a layup through traffic.
Scott dropped in another couple of buckets to close out the quarter to help give the Eagles a 24-19 lead at halftime.
The Eagles continued to get strong play from Scott in the third period as the Eagles built a 33-24 advantage midway through the period.
Garrett Barton got in on the scoring action and Ward chipped in another layup to give the Eagles a 37-30 lead with a little more than two minutes lift in the third.
Aaron Warthen and Rico Bovino closed out the third period with a pair of baskets to put the Eagles up 43-32 heading into the final period.
Warthen got the Eagles started with a quick bucket in the fourth period, and shortly after the Linden coach was hit with a technical foul that sent Scott to the line for a pair of free throws.
Scott was true on both attempts to give the Eagles a 47-35 lead.
Warthen dropped in another couple of baskets that had the Eagles on top 51-38, but the Patriots weren’t going to go down without a fight.
Linden began creating turnovers and hitting clutch 3-pointers and quickly turned it into a one-possession game.
With 3:22 left in the game, the Patriots busted a 3-pointer to cut the Eagles’ lead down to 51-48.
After the momentary surge from the Patriots, the Eagles settled down and got big buckets from Scott, Myrick and Weaver to give the Eagles a 59-49 victory.
Scott led the way for the Eagles with 29 points.
“We have really just been playing together as a team lately,” Scott said. “This was a team win tonight.”
Pleasant Home head coach Troy Turman said he was thrilled with his team’s effort.
“Tonight, we fought through adversity and just kept battling,” Turman said. “The kids listened to what we told them and they stuck to the game plan. They just kept believing that they could win. This team wanted to be the team that broke the streak of missing regionals, and they did that.”
Warthen said it was a special moment, not only to make it to the regional tournament, but to win in the opening round.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” Warthen said. “We were so close last year and I think that is what motivated us.”
Warthen and Turman said that an early season meeting is what changed the season for the Eagles.
“They called a meeting themselves after one of our losses, and sense then they have been a different team,” Turman said.
Warthen said the players called the meeting to address their concerns.
“We have a small school so we all know each other very well,” Warthen said. “We argued a lot with each other at the beginning of the season and things just weren’t clicking. We knew we had a good team so we decided the arguing would end right there.”
The talk appeared to pay off as the Eagles would go on to win 17-straight games to earn a spot in the Tuesday’s Class 1A South Regional championship against Georgiana.