ALBION — The mark of a quality team is sometimes not measured by how they deal with adversity, but rather with how they maintain their focus and intensity when they are faced with prosperity.
That was the case for a Churubusco boys’ basketball team that was still able to remain focused and execute well, especially defensively in a 62-31 road win over Northeast Corner Conference foe Central Noble Friday night.
“We had a really good job by our kids tonight, especially on the defensive end in the first half,” Eagle head coach Michael McBride said. “We were really into it, we’re intense and intimidating. I thought our half court defense was very good.
“Offensively we executed pretty well. Even though we didn’t shoot it extremely well, we got some good looks at the basket that went in and out, but for the most part our first half was really pretty solid.”
After a slow start in the first quarter, the Eagles took a 5-0 lead on a basket by junior Tyler Arrowsmith inside and a three-pointer by senior Hunter Nicodemus.
The Eagles got untracked offensively, in large part to the play on the defensive end of the court forcing four first quarter turnovers, and adding three first quarter blocks by Arrowsmith.
Two baskets by junior Josh LeFever, and another by Nicodemus and one off a steal by senior Kyle Monk helped spark the Eagles to a 15-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles essentially put the game away in the second quarter, with Dylan Herendeen providing some of the offensive punch, knocking down two threes, the second of which stretched the Churubusco lead to 32-6.
Dylan Herendeen totaled eight points in the second quarter with Nicodemus adding four to stake the Eagles to a 32-11 lead at halftime.
If the game wasn’t decided at the end of the second quarter, it certainly was at the end of the third as the visiting Eagles outscored the Cougars 19-7 in the stanza, with Nicodemus tossing in seven and Arrowsmith adding five more to put the Eagles up 51-18 heading into the final period.
With the Eagles substituting freely, the host Cougars were able to narrow the final margin only slightly, notching 13 points to the Eagles’ 11 as Churubusco closed out the contest by the final 62-31 score.
“We had a real good week of practice and this is the time of year, moving into February, where everybody wants to be playing their best as you are heading into March,” McBride said. “We’ve been talking about that and I thought our kids had real good focus tonight and good defensive intensity.”
Nicodemus led the Eagles, who got points from everyone who played, with 19 points including two baskets from behind the three-point line. Dylan Herendeen added two threes of his own and 13 points to the total. Arrowsmith contributed seven blocked shots and nine rebounds to lead Churubusco in those categories.