WINGATE — It was a back and forth affair through the first half. Neither Shikellamy nor Bald Eagle could manage to build much of a lead, but midway through the third quarter Austin Mowery found his stroke and allowed the Braves to pull away.
Held scoreless for the first 18-plus minutes of play, Mowery knocked down three-consecutive shots that allowed his squad to pull away en route to a 62-46 win over the Eagles — their first loss of the season.
With a one point lead midway through the third frame, the Braves swung the ball around the arc and found Mowery who connected for a three-ball. He then added another 3-pointer and a bucket from the field that helped to fuel an eight to zero run for the Braves, which quickly gave them a nine point lead and the momentum that they needed to pull away.
“In the third quarter our goal was to come out the first three or four minutes solid and try to extend the four-point lead,” Tim Foor the Braves’ head coach said. “Austin was in a little foul trouble in the first half, but he’s quite capable of coming out and hitting some quick threes. (Friday night) we played at Midwest and we were down, and he scored the last five points of the game for us to have us win the game, so he’s capable of that. When he gets his feet set, he’s a very dangerous shooter.”
One of the things that the Eagles benefitted from in the first half was their production at the free throw line. They shot 9-for-12 from the charity stripe in the first, but ended the game 12-for-17 and that hurt them when the needed it the most.
While the ability to get to the line hurt the Eagles in the second half, it was completely opposite for the Braves. After only getting to the line one time before the half, the Braves knocked down 11-of-12 shots in the second and that paired with their ability to hit the deep ball allowed them to emerge victorious.
“(The) difference in the ball game, 12-for-13 from the foul line, that puts the game away right there,” Bill Butterworth the Eagles’ head coach said. “You can’t come back if you can’t make them miss, and they shot well from the floor.”
The Braves ended the night with 20 made field goals — ten of those came from downtown. Derek Amerman was responsible for four 3-pointers and he finished the afternoon with a game-high 18 points.
Senior guard Bryan Greene paced the Eagles with 15 points and all of his scoring production came in the first half. He was held scoreless after recess and that coupled with the Braves’ zone play were the reasons that the Eagles only scored 16 in the final 16 minutes of the game.
“We’re normally a man-to-man team, but we felt that this team was a little quicker than we were,” Foor said. “I thought they were very quick on the ball, so we thought go in the zone, see how they attack the zone, and at first they were hurting us a little bit. They were getting the ball into the sure corner, but once you made that adjustment of taking the sure corner away, it forced some pressure on them and unfortunately for them, they didn’t hit too many threes for the night.”
After suffering their first blemish on the young season, the Eagles (4-1) will look to get back on track when they play at Clearfield at 6 pm on Thursday.