Eupora begins district hoops play on Jan. 7

By Austin Bishop

The Webster Progress-Times


Ready or not, here it comes. The Eupora High School boys and girls basketball team will begin their four-game district schedule on Jan. 7 when they play host to Calhoun City.

Region 4-2A, of which Eupora is a member, plays only one game against each region opponent that counts in the district standings.

“That makes it kind of tough,” said first-year Eupora High School girls Katie McDonald. “You just have one shot at them and each game means a lot.”

The Eupora boys head into 2014 with an overall 6-1 mark, while the Lady Eagles are 2-5. The EHS boys were set to play Durant at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Winona Classic.

“We have been practicing, working hard,” McDonald said. “We may have to do a few things different on offense against Calhoun City. We are not a run and gun team.”

The Lady Eagles dropped an 83-48 decision to Calhoun City early in the season, although it didn’t count in the region standings. So far Eupora has wins over Choctaw County (54-49) and Bruce (57-42).

The last time out Eupora dropped a 60-38 decision to Noxapater on Dec. 20. “They only really hit one shot outside the paint the whole game,” McDonald said of the Lady Tigers of Noxapater. “We are a young team and don’t know how to box out well yet and they just killed us on the boards.”

Haley Robinson had a huge game offensively for the Lady Eagles, scoring 25 points by driving the lane and going to the free throw line. Jabrieya Morton scored seven points for EHS, while Brittany Cooper, Korionna McKinney and Jaliyaah Patterson hit for two each.

The Eupora boys closed out 2013 strong by rolling past Noxapater 70-33 and then outlasting Vardaman 67-52 in the Calhoun City Classic

“We did a real good job against Noxapater in running our offense and got some good shots,” said Eupora boys head coach Danya Turner. “We didn’t play that well defensively against Vardaman and didn’t do a good job boxing out. We were kind of tired from playing four games that week, but we were able to come out on top.”

The Eagles outscored Vardaman 23-10 in the third quarter to get the boost it needed.

Deon Watkins led EHS with 17 points against Noxapater, while Trey Pittman scored 13, Corson Gunn hit for 11 and Chance Cooper added nine.

Four Eagles scored in double figures against Vardaman, with Trey Pittman leading the way with 16 points. Cooper and Lamontae Salley tossed in 13 each for the winners, while Watkins had 11 and Corson Gunn nine. Jaquille Wright added three and Carson Gunn two for EHS.

“We are looking forward to playing Calhoun City,” Turner said of the team that defeated his team 70-55 in Eupora’s season opener. “It’s a tough region. We just have to play smart basketball.”

After hosting Calhoun City, Eupora will entertain league foe Okolona on Jan. 10. Other region opponents are East Webster and Bruce, both of which are on the schedule in late January.