The SoBoCo Eagles held the lead early, but Helias bounced back to go on a 17-2 run and went on to defeat the Eagles 59-44 in Ashland on Tuesday.
The game, featuring two top-10 teams in Class 3 and Class 4, was entertaining as two running teams sprinted up and down the court.
However, the Crusaders took control by utilizing their size advantage, not their speed.
After an opening 7-0 blast by the Eagles behind baskets by Sam Stichnote, Zane Safely and Maguire Scheer, Helias settled in and began feeding the ball inside to 6-4 Nathan Bax. When Bax wasn’t scoring – he had six of his 12 points in a six-minute span at the end of the first period and in the second quarter – he created matchup problems which left his teammates open. Landon Harrison hit a three-pointer and another pair of baskets to lead the Crusaders on their run.
The Eagles found themselves down 22-9 at one point and 32-15 midway through the second quarter.
However, Stichnote and Scheer began to find some success attacking the rim and the Eagles ended their scoring drought, but found themselves down 38-26 at halftime.
The second half was much of the same, with SoBoCo unable to get the lead below 10 points.
Harrison led the Crusaders with 16 points, Bax had 12 points – all inside the paint.
The Eagles were led by Stichnote with 16 points and Maguire Scheer scored 13 points.
Both the SoBoCo boys and girls will host Warsaw on Friday in their final regular season game of the year.