Boys basketball heads to Sterling

Boys+basketball+heads+to+Sterling

Rylee Martin, Social Media Editor

Eaton Reds boys basketball has just entered into the postseason and currently, their record is 15-8 overall on the year. Playing in the district tournament the boys had to face the Estes Bobcats and ended up rolling over the Cats 67-48 at home on Feb. 17th. The next day the Reds faced the Sterling Tigers after just playing them a few days prior. On Feb. 18th the boys turned around and made the hefty road trip to the northeastern plains of Colorado to get another poke at the Tigers after losing 49-62 the first time. After a tough battle the boys ended up losing 42-65, the Reds started off a little too slow in the first quarter, which made it difficult to make a comeback. Progressing onto the next week, the boys faced rival Platte Valley on Feb. 23rd and ended up victorious on the away match-up against the Broncos. The final score was 63-46. Some standout players for the Reds have been Walker Martin (23) as he has averaged 15.4 points a game on the season for the team and 8.6 rebounds per game. Staying aggressive has been a common factor throughout this 2021-22 season and Mitch Haythorn (23) has continuously shown his athleticism from a shooting perspective with an average of 14 points per game. These are just a few of the outstanding athletes that Head Coach Dean Grable has underneath his belt. 

To determine final placements in the Patriot League, Budweiser Event center hosted the final games on Saturday, Feb. 26th. After defeating the Platte Valley Broncos earlier that week, the Reds ended up having a rematch with the Brush Beat Diggers. During the regular season, the boys fell short to the Beat Diggers in overtime at home, so they were excited to get another shot at Brush. Tip-off started at 1:30 in the afternoon so it left a good amount of time for the Reds to mentally prepare for the tough matchup that they had ahead. Both teams had a hard time adjusting to the new arena setting that they were playing in, so early on shots were having a hard time falling. The Reds had a hard time rallying together as a team to pass the ball and stop the Beat Diggers from a defensive standpoint. Trailing by just a few points at half time, the boys took that time to reset for the next two quarters. In the third quarter, the boys kept the game neck and neck, and both teams were matching each other’s points one at a time. Once the fourth quarter started, the Reds couldn’t get things rolling again. The boys fell short 51-72 on Saturday afternoon. 

Luckily, the boys are still ranked high enough so they will advance into the state tournament. Leadership will be key for the boys to make a deep run into the tournament, Jordan Sidwell (22) said, “We are preparing for state by taking no days off and we need to band together and rely on each other through thick and thin.” Sidwell has always been a team player for the Reds, which is key for a successful team. With three seniors preparing to play in their last run for the Reds it has been a common theme that younger players have been stepping up to fill the gap that will be left. Haythorn has been one of those players that have been crucial for the Reds; he said, “I think we need to improve on the ball movement, rebounding, and believing in ourselves and each other.” Haythorn has also been a very steady player this season, and in basketball, consistency is very important. Haythorn said, ¨I think we are doing well with playing hard… take it one game at a time and give our full effort no matter what.” Coach Dean Grable said, ¨Our goal is to play the best basketball we can every single possession, we know we will not play mistake-free…just go have fun and see what happens. We’ll watch some film and continue to get lots of shots up in practice.  Our players understand what we are trying to do on both ends of the floor – it’s just a matter of getting it done.”  Coach Grable has high expectations for his boys as they will attempt to make a deep run through the tournament. 

Next up for the Reds are the Colorado Springs Christian Lions who are 15-7 on the year. The game will be hosted at Sterling Highschool on Friday, Mar.  4th. To stay updated on the upcoming games, tune into Eaton Red Ink for weekly updates and NFHS to watch the game live.