Respect comes with expectations

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Eagles ready for tourney challenge in Walnut Grove

Just one game into the season, Pierce City basketball Coach Matt Street was in a seeding conference for the annual Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament.

Street’s Eagles were 1-0, but he had no idea where his team might be slotted.

Due to a deep playoff run by the football team, Street had not even had a full week of practice with his squad.

When the results and subsequent bracket was released, his team was seeded third in the 16-team field.

“Getting that high seed means a lot,” Street said. “To my knowledge, it is the highest seed Pierce City has ever had at Walnut Grove. I think it speaks to the quality and reputation of program we have built and it is a reflection of the type of talent that other coaches see on our team.”

The Eagles this season are still getting their basketball legs underneath them.

“Any time you have an extended football season, it hurts your basketball season start,” Street said. “I’m not complaining about that at all. It just shows that we have some talented kids. We are still getting into basketball shape.

“Consistency is our biggest issue, and that’s just due to lack of time together. We show flashes of being the team I think we can be. Then, we go through stretches where we struggle to score. We are headed in the right direction, and I think we are getting close to catching up.”

Pierce City opens tournament action against Sparta, a team Street said is no slouch.

“This tournament routinely has district winners and state final four teams,” Street said. “Sparta is big, and its zone is pretty tough. There is no game in this tournament where you can take off and say we should walk through wth a win. We have to battle.”

Tipoff for the Eagles is set for 6 p.m.

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