ARLINGTON - Down by 11 points on the road at Starmont Tuesday, Dec. 10, things didn’t look good for the Midland boys basketball team.
That was until the fourth quarter came around.
“I was incredibly proud of our boys,” said Eagle girls basketball coach Dalton Hughes, as his team rallied from the large deficit against the host Stars to claim their first victory of the campaign in a thrilling 53-51 final.
“We were down 11 on the road and with starter Zain Sauer on the sideline the whole second half with an injury. Our boys battled and won a hard-fought game.”
And they did it with some late heroics.
Down by two points with 1:40 to play, Sawyer Hansen drilled two huge free throws to knot the score before Iziek Soper came through with the game-winner, flipping a hook shot up and through the hoop with a mere four-seconds left to shock the Stars and send Midland fans home happy.
“Our defense really picked it up in the fourth,” said Harms, as Midland held the hosts to a mere six points in the frame while scoring 19 of their own.
“This was a much-needed boost of confidence.”
The Eagles (1-4) got off to a solid start leading 14-11 after one quarter before Starmont went on a 21-12 second quarter spurt to take a 32-26 lead into the halftime break.
The Stars continued to stretch their advantage in the third quarter as well going on a 13-8 run and looked in control holding a 45-34 lead heading into the final eight-minutes of play.
Britan Martens had a huge night for the Eagles, not only drilling six 3-point baskets and scoring a game-high 23 points, but he also added eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Soper chipped in with 12 points connecting on six of his seven shots from the floor while coming through with seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
Sauer was having a big night before the injury cut his night short, drilling three treys and scoring nine points.
Overall Midland was 10-of-26 from beyond the arc in the game and had 14 assists on their 20 made baskets.
The Eagles looked to start a winning streak Friday, Dec. 13, hosting Springville, and after getting off to a solid start against a talented and athletic Oriole team, saw things begin to spiral out of control in the final two quarters of what ended as a tough 69-48 defeat.
“We started this game off well as Wilson Buckwalter got us going early,” said Harms, as the hosts led 13-10 with a minute remaining in the opening frame.
“We were playing short-handed without Zain due to injury and Britan due to foul trouble. Springville went on a nice scoring run to take the lead, 18-13, at the end of the quarter. The second quarter we had two starters on the bench due to fouls. I didn’t have either of my starting guards and with about two-minutes left in the quarter Springville went on a huge scoring run to go up at halftime.”
With Midland trailing just 26-22, the Oriole offense caught fire going on a 17-3 run to end the half holding a 43-25 advantage.
Springville kept the offense flowing in the second half as well building as much as a 27-point lead before settling for the 21-point victory over the Eagles.
“Springville does a nice job of pushing the ball in transition and shooting the ball,” Harms said. “In the end, we played well in stretches and showed we can play at that level, but we weren’t consistent enough to stay around with a team the caliber of Springville.”
Soper paced the Midland offense scoring 16 points overall, nine of which came in the first half. Buckwalter added 10 more while Martens tallied nine.
The busy Eagle week opened Monday, Dec. 9, with a rough 100-37 loss against class 2A top-ranked North Linn.
The Lynx raced to a 32-12 first quarter advantage and never looked back leading 61-18 at the half and 86-26 through three frames.
Martens drilled two of Midland’s seven total 3-pointers and led the offense with eight points. Sauer tallied seven while Aaron Bixler came off the Eagle bench and score six points.