By Austin Bishop
The Webster Progress-Times
Eupora High School first-year boys basketball coach Danya Turner knew his Eagles were going to be a little rusty coming out of Christmas Break, but even he was a little surprised with what he saw on Saturday.
While the Eagles managed to fight through some early game mistakes to take a 41-29 win over Durant in the Winona Classic, Turner said his unit will have to pick it up this week as they face a pair of region foes.
“We hadn’t played in going on 16 days,” Turner says. “We missed free throws, lay-ups, everything. “We have had four guys in double-figure scoring in almost every game we have played and we just had one on Saturday. This may be the lowest scoring ball game i’ve ever coached.”
Chance Cooper scored 16 points to lead EHS in the win, while Trey Pittman hit for eight and Deon Watkins added six. The win pushed the Eagles to 7-1 on the year. The Lady Eagles, who did not play in the Winona event, were 2-5 as this week began.
The EHS boys and girls were set to open region play at home against Calhoun City on Tuesday, before hosting league foe Okolona on Friday. The Eupora boys and girls will take on Madison St. Joseph in the Philadelphia Classic on Saturday. The girls will play at 1 p.m. followed by the boys at 2:30 p.m.
What makes the region games doubly important is that Region 4-2A operates in a single round-robin format, meaning only one game (the one played at the site of the two team’s football game) against the schools in your region counts in district play.
“Being from a football school I like it that way,” Turner said. “It means we don’t have to start playing district games right off the football field and we have a little time to work on basketball. Some teams will already have 10 guys in the gym where I might have two or three until the football players come out.”