Saturday’s championship round of the annual Southern Boone Classic will be an all Eagles evening as the SoBoCo boys joined the girls team in the championship finals by defeating rivals Hallsville on Thursday evening by a 54-46 score.
The Eagles boys will face Fulton in the championship game. The Hornets defeated Boonville 64-56 in the other Thursday semi-final.
The Eagles girls, the defending Classic champs, will face Fatima at 6 p.m. and the SoBoCo-Fulton championship will follow at about 7:30 p.m. The Eagles have not won both the boys and girls Classic championship since 1987.
The Hallsville Indians nearly spoiled that attempt at a double-title championship round.
Hallsville led the Eagles boys 33-20 with 5:48 left in the third quarter.
That left the Eagles with a little more than 13 minutes of play, however, an abysmally poor shooting night left the home fans with little hope.
However, the Eagles turned things around in less than two minutes.
Sam Stichnote hit a 3-pointer, then scored another basket off an offensive rebound. When Garrett Goodnight and Spencer Taggart trapped a Hallsville guard near mid-court, Stichnote stole the ensuing wild pass, fed the ball to Maguire Scheer for the layup and the Eagles had cut the lead to 33-27. Goodnight stole the ball again and made it 33-29 and the Eagles were back in the game.
The Eagles ended the quarter down 34-38, but took a 39-38 lead just two minutes into the fourth period.
“I knew once we got the lead we would win the game,” said Eagles coach Andy Jahnsen. “I talked at halftime about how we needed to attack the rim more. We can’t live on the 3-point line when we’re not making shots.”
Scheer hit a deep 3-pointer to give the Eagles the lead and Stichnote followed with a layup, followed by easy layups by Scheer. From there Scheer hit six straight free throws to give the Eagles a 49-40 lead as the Indians resorted to desperate 3-point shots that did not fall.
Hallsville led the game through most of the first half, holding Southern Boone to only 15 points in the first two periods.
“They played very well defensively,” said Stichnote, “we just got back to what we do (in the second half) and boxing out better, getting some rebounds and going in transition.”