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’Busco preps for tourney atomsphere

January 7, 2011

Churubusco center Tyler Arrowsmith and the Eagles hit the road Tuesday for the first round of the North East Corner Conference tournament. ’Busco will be at Prairie Heights to face a Panthers team is defeated earlier in the season 73-58. Post & Mail file photo / Michelle Gaff

   No, its not the postseason but it will feel like it next week for Churubusco basketball teams.
   It’s one-and-done atmosphere with the annual North East Corner Conference tournament throwing its 11 girls and boys teams into brackets with a championship at the end.
   “The NECC tournament is big,” Churubusco head boys’ basketball coach said. “It’s high on what we want to accomplish.
   “We’re excited to play in the tournament. It’s a one-and-done type of situation so nothing gets you more prepared for the sectional than playing in that tournament.”
   After a game against Fremont at home tonight, Churubusco turns its focus to Tuesday where the tournament begins on the road.
   The Eagles (5-2) face a Prairie Heights (4-5) team it already disposed of at home by 25 points.
   It’s the road where ’Busco seems most comfortable at the moment with a 3-0 record.
   “We’ve got to go on the road, which we’ve been able to do so far,” McBride noted. “Hopefully we can do some of the same things we did against them (Prairie Heights) earlier.”
   The tournament pairs the girls and boys teams from the same school in a doubleheader for the first round.
   The Lady Eagles (2-9) will tip off at 6 p.m. at Prairie Heights (6-6). It’ll be the second time in less than a month where the two teams will meet after the Lady Eagles fell 48-44 at Prairie Heights on Dec. 18.
   The Lady Eagles last win over the Lady Panthers came in 2004 on the road.
   Hosting schools further in the tourney are determined by the winning girls teams. If the Lady Eagles can beat the Panthers, ’Busco teams will host the second round against either Angola or Fairfield Wednesday.
   Churubusco will get a sneak peek at its sectional competition. Out of five sectional opponents, four are featured in the NECC tournament with first round opponent Prairie Heights being the first.
   The ’Busco boys’ are used to seeing Prairie Heights after facing them in sectional four out of the last five seasons.
   “We’re hungry right now for that tournament,” McBride stated. “I think we’re going to come out really focused and ready to go.”

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