By Austin Bishop
The Webster Progress-Times
Eupora HIgh School girls basketball coach Katie McDonald said her Lady Eagles got a chance to see what they were capable of accomplishing last Friday night.
Although the Lady Eagles dropped a 53-42 decision to county-rival East Webster, McDonald said her team competed well and was in the ball game until late in the fourth quarter when EW began knocking down free throws.
McDonald hopes her team’s effort carries over into the district tournament which starts Tuesday at Bruce. The Lady Eagles, the No. 4 seed, will play fifth-seeded Bruce in the tourney opener. The winner advances to the semifinals and will be assured of a spot in the play-in round
The Eupora boys go in as the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will not play until Thursday, Feb. 20 when they will take on the No. 2 seeded Trojans of Bruce High School.
Eupora is scheduled to close out the regular season by traveling to Nanih Waiya on Thursday and then visiting West Oktibbeha on Friday.
The Lady Eagles of Eupora held a 13-10 first-quarter lead over East Webster and trailed just 23-22 at the half.
“We hung in there with the No. 2-seeded team,” said EHS head girls coach Katie McDonald. “We played the best we have played all year. To me they proved to each other that they can play better. We just need to keep playing that way headed into the tournament.”
She said the games against Nanih Waiya and West Oktibbeha were important because they would give her a team a chance to work on some things.
“We haven’t been able to practice, so those games will really help us to get ready,” McDonald said.
Among the things that really impressed McDonald during the game against Eupora was that her big girl on the inside — Jabrieya Morton — was able to play the entire game and that Katrina Robinson did a solid job blocking out.
“We just did the little things well,” she said. “It was a fun game to watch.”
Haley Robinson and Morton led Eupora with 11 points each in the game, while Jaliyaah Paterson scored 10 and Chandrea Watson scored eight.
Eupora head boys coach Danya Turner said his 14-6 Eagles needed to find a way to play at a more consistent level.
“”We have been playing in spurts,” Turners said “There are times when we come down on offense and everything clicks and there are times when we look like we are lost. If we can get over that hump, we will be okay.”
Eupora had a 14-point lead over East Webster late, before hanging on to take a 53-48 win over East Webster. Deon Watkins led the Eagle with 16 points, while Corson Gunn scored 14, Chance Cooper 12 and Trey Pittman six.