Eagles blitzed in sectional hoops

Friday, March 3, 2017
Hunter Tindell leaps toward the rim during sectional playoff action against Crane on Wednesday. Jared Lankford/sports@monett-times.com

Pierce City comes up short against Crane

It was not the ending to the season the Pierce City hoops team envisioned, as the Eagles fell, 65-42, to Crane on Wednesday.

“Crane did a great job of coming out and punching us in the mouth from the beginning,” said Matt Street, Pierce City coach. “We just didn’t recover from it. We were not the same team that we’ve been, and we didn’t attack the rim the same way as we had been.

“All the credit to Crane. They took us out of what we wanted to do and made us do what they wanted us to do. We didn’t react well enough to it.”

All season, the Eagles had played beyond their years in terms of being a young team playing at a high level. On Wednesday, a perfect storm led to a game that saw the Eagles trail by 32 twice in the second half.

Pierce City was behind 23-8 at the end of the first and 43-16 at halftime.

Street said replacing a crop of seniors that helped the Eagles win two of the program’s three district titles would be difficult, but the fact the team has eight players returning next season, six of whom have starting experience, would help.

“We need to remember sitting in the locker with this feeling and not let it happen again,” Street said. “We have to come out hungry, and every time we start to fall off, we need to remind ourselves of what this feeling is.

“We can’t recreate this atmosphere or this moment for what our kids need to take from this and move forward. We can’t replace our three seniors, but we can do our best to move on and let someone else step in.”

Scoring for the Eagles: Devin Cox, 10; Hunter Tindell, 8; Donnell Kleiboeker, 8; Trey Sagehorn, 5; Aaron Garner, 4; Mason Moreland, 3; Dallas Kleiboeker, 2; and Jordan Cruz, 2.

The Eagles finished the season 22-8.

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