Eagles soar past Glenmora, 81-58

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 3, 2002


RESERVE – The Reserve Christian Eagles didn’t have any problems rising to the occasion to ward off Glenmora Tuesday evening. After taking control toward the end of the first half, the Eagles continued building their lead with 40 second-quarter points for the final 81-58 playoff win.

Eagles’ coach Tim Byrd said he was expecting a much more enthusiastic performance from the Eagles Tuesday, after playing “with no energy, no emotion and just going through the motions,” against Doyle last week. Byrd said their lack luster showing was largely because Doyle had a losing record, (13-18) and the Eagles have not taken such teams seriously this season. However, their opponents Tuesday night, Glenmora, posed a threat, entering with a 41-3 record.

“Playing a game with a ranked opponent helped our focus,” said Byrd. “Their expectations were to come out and win.”

He said he was pleased with the Eagles’ performance, although offensively they still weren’t hitting on all cylinders. Although they “weren’t shooting the ball great,” the Eagles held their lead throughout the game.

“Chris McClain set the tone early and played like a true point guard,” said Byrd. “His penetration really hurt their defense.”

While McClain led the charge across the court, Demond Carter quietly dropped in 25 points and a number of assists.

Byrd said the Eagles gave up a few easy shots in the first half, but claimed he was actually to blame.

“It was probably my fault because we were too focused on their big guy. Frankie Francois did a good job on him by himself,” he continued.

Glenmora began the game with a full-court press, which the Eagles quickly responded to with their own defensive press. The Eagles’ defense allowed the Wildcats 16 first quarter points and held them to 10 in the second quarter. When the Wildcats would throw up a shot, the Eagles held their ground under the goal, taking away any second-chance shots. However, the full-court press landed the Eagles in foul trouble late in the first half, forcing them to switch to a half-court, man-to-man defense, which they continued for the remainder of the game.

“Our defense was the key. They tried to raise the level in the second half, but our defense got pretty stingy and didn’t give up the easy baskets. Glenmora’s accustomed to a good bit of points, but we did a good, solid job on defense.”

The Eagles’ 24-10 run set them ahead 41-26 at halftime and they never stopped to look back.

“McClain had a huge three to end the second quarter and put us up by 15,” Bryd explained. “That was pretty much the nail in the coffin.”

The Eagles returned in the second half to outscore the Wildcats 40-32, but the damage had been done and the Eagles had the playoff win under control.