CHURUBUSCO — A starting lineup full of seniors took the court for Churubusco boys’ basketball Friday night as the regular season came to a close.
In front of a packed crowd, the Eagles seniors (Hunter Nicodemus, Kyle Monk, Tavin Herendeen, Dylan Herendeen and Jordan Turner) combined for 49 points in a drubbing of North East Corner Conference foe Eastside 77-41.
“Senior night is always an emotional night and I thought our five seniors did a nice job early in the game getting us off to a good start,” Churubusco head coach Mike McBride said.
Churubusco held a lead for all but 35 seconds of Friday night’s contest.
Already up 16-11 after the first quarter, the Eagles used a seven-minute and 28-second scoring drought by Eastside to take control.
A post bucket by Blazer forward Austen Brow with 5:01 remaining in the second quarter cut the Churubusco lead to 21-16.
For the rest of the first half, the Eagles held Eastside scoreless. Four of ’Busco’s five seniors scored in a 21-0 stretch.
The game’s leading scorer, Hunter Nicodemus, finished the run with a steal helping him to 15 points on the night.
“We had a really nice run in that second quarter,” McBride noted. “We had a lot of guys involved and (Tyler Arrowsmith) was kind of the focal point.”
Junior Tyler Arrowsmith set up for inside for seven of his 13 points in the run that left Churubusco up 42-16 at the break.
Following a 26-5 scoring advantage in the second quarter, Churubusco opened with the first two buckets of the third.
The Eagles’ streak ended at 25 unanswered points. Eastside broke back into the scoring column with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
Together, eight different Eagles got in the scoring column. Junior Josh LeFever gave ’Busco’s future next season a good preview. LeFever scored nine of his 12 points in the second half including two three-point play opportunities.
“I think that’s when we’re at our best is when we get three or four guys in that double figure range,” McBride said. “When you get that you’re hard to guard because you have a lot of different weapons.”
The senior breakdown had Kyle Monk follow Nicodemus in scoring with 14 points coming in the paint.
Jordan Turner, Tavin Herendeen and Dylan Herendeen all knocked down three-pointers for Churubusco.
Tavin Herendeen finished with nine points with Turner at six and Dylan Herendeen taking five.
Churubusco (13-6, 9-1 NECC) capped off the latest win shooting 29-for-54 (54 percent) from the field.
The win helps the Eagles finish with a second-place 9-1 record in the conference behind only Westview, who went unbeaten at 10-0.
The regular season finish marks one of the best in the program’s history at Churubusco. It’s only the second time in 17 seasons — the last coming in 2005 — the Eagles have tallied 13 wins or more heading into the postseason.
Churubusco travels to Garrett’s class 2A sectional opener Tuesday against Fremont as winners of seven of its last nine games.
According to McBride, the Eagles are peaking at the right moment.
“I think we played really good competition,” McBride said. “We’ve played real tournament type teams down the stretch.
“We feel like we’re playing our best basketball going into the tournament and that’s what you always want to be doing. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling into next week.”