CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco’s boys and girls basketball teams played host to their Central Noble counterparts Tuesday in the opening round of the Northeast Corner Conference basketball tournament.
Both Churubusco teams fell to defeat with the Lady Eagles losing 39-36 and the boys’ team dropping a 55-36 contest.
While both Eagle teams lost — relegating them to the consolation bracket of the tourney — the paths they took were quite different.
In the opening game, the Lady Eagles took on a previously winless Central Noble Lady Cougar squad. A sticky Churubusco defense held the Lady Cougars scoreless in the first quarter and into the early minutes of the second. A switching Churubusco defense forced Central Noble into 0-for-16 shooting from the field to start the game.
The Lady Eagles got scoring from four different players including three points from Cassidy Perlich to take a 9-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Seven turnovers and 0-for-four shooting from the field in the fourth quarter doomed the Lady Eagles. With 5:42 left in the quarter a Central Noble free throw knotted the score at 35-35. Down the stretch the Lady Cougars hit four consecutive free throws while the Lady Eagles managed a single point on a free throw by Chandler Blake to account for the final 39-36 score.
While the girls’ contest was a close contest, the Eagle boys’ game was one in which the hosts fell behind early and were not able to come back against the Cougars.
Seven first quarter turnovers disrupted the Eagle offense against the visitors. The first of three three-pointers by the Cougars’ Brock Noe put Central Noble up 15-6. Churubusco’s Brent Simmons led the Eagles with seven of their 10 first quarter points as Central Noble took a 17-10 lead at the first break.
The Cougars extended the lead in the second quarter as Noe put up two more three pointers, as the visitors outscored the Eagles 17-11 in the second quarter. In the second, the Eagles got a three of their own from guard T.J. Campbell and two buckets from Blake Gross, but still trailed 34-21 at halftime.
The Eagles managed only a single basket by Simmons in the final period to go along with 4-of-5 shooting from the free-throw line to account for their six points, while the Cougars put up 11 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 free throw shooting to account for the final 55-36 Central Noble win.
Both Eagle teams will play Thursday nights’ consolation game against opponents that will be determined after the Wednesday night contests.
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