Turnovers and missed shots haunted the Graves County Eagles on Friday afternoon at the Eagles' Nest as Graves dropped its fourth straight loss in an overtime thriller to West Creek, Tennessee, 54-47.
Despite the loss, Graves County head coach Josh Frick was encouraged by the play of underclassmen Aydan Flint and John Ben Brown.
"They've steadily gotten better as the season has moved along and I think they each played well today, John Ben was active on both ends of the floor for us. We've got to have those guys playing well going forward."
The Eagles went back and forth with the Coyotes throughout the contest, trailing by just one at the end of the first half.
While Graves lacked athleticism compared to the West Creek lineup, the Eagles made up for their shortcomings with rebounds and a stout defensive presence, forcing 13 turnovers and executing on multiple second chance opportunities at the rim.
Big man Kade Babb led Graves County with 11 points while Seth Thomas and John Ben Brown followed with 10 points apiece.
Trailing by two with just under a minute to play, Graves County got another huge boost from sophomore guard Aydan Flint as he knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer to give the Eagles their first lead of the quarter, 38-37.
Following a 1-2 effort at the line by West Creek, Thomas missed a contested game-winner from the top of the key, sending the game to overtime all knotted up at 38 each.
In the overtime period, Graves came out sluggish and the Coyotes took full control of the Eagles' miscues.
Back-to-back turnovers gave West Creek a quick 45-38 lead and that was all she wrote as the Coyotes defeated Graves County 54-47 in OT.
West Creek 8 8 12 10 16 - 54
Graves Co. 11 4 12 11 9 - 47
West Creek: Coffey 17, Pace 12, Dunson 11, Ham 7, LaFortune 5, Wagner 2.
Field goals 17-42. 3-pointers 3-15 Pace (2) and Coffey (1)). Free throws 17-24. Reb: 25. Ast: 8. TO: 13. Fouls 19. Record 7-6
Graves County: Babb 11, Brown 10, Thomas 10, Grant 6, Flint 5, Chalker 3, Mills 1, Oliver 1.
Field goals 17-41. 3-pointers 2-15 (Flint (1) and Thomas (1)). Free throws 11-22. Reb: 24. Ast: 8. TO: 15. Fouls 16. Record 4-9.
Graves Co. 15 13 20 11 - 59
South Warren 9 9 10 13 - 41
The Graves County Eagles bounced back from their Friday afternoon loss to West Creek by taking down the South Warren Spartans 59-41 to earn a spot in the consolation championship game on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles received huge performances from guard Aydan Flint and big men John Ben Brown and Kade Babb.
Flint finished the night with a career high 17 points including three daggers from beyond the arc.
Brown ended the night with eight points, five boards and three blocks while Babb added six points and eight rebounds.
The Eagles were simply too much for the Spartans down the stretch as Graves County's energy and team chemistry was oozing from the Eagles' Nest on Friday night.
Graves tallied 12 assists on the night while limiting their turnovers to 13 on a night that saw increased bench play.
Heading into the matchup, Frick believed the Eagles will need to remain calm and secure with their ball handling.
"We have to make sure we take good care of the basketball," Frick said. "It's going to be a tall task for us, they're going to be one of the best teams we've faced all season."
South Warren: Franklin 8, Veltkamp 5, Crain 5, Stobaugh 5, Carver 5, Putnam 5, Neal 4, Burton 2, Ortiz 2.
Field goals 18-55. 3-pointers 4-15 Carver (1), Putnam (1), Stobaugh (1) and Veltkamp (1)). Free throws 1-8. Reb: 24. Ast: 8. TO: 12. Fouls 17.
Graves County: Flint 17, Thomas 14, Brown 8, Grant 8, Babb 6, Chalker 4, Oliver 2.
Field goals 20-37. 3-pointers 5-10 (Flint (3), Grant (1) and Thomas (1)). Free throws 14-24. Reb: 24. Ast: 12. TO: 13. Fouls 11. Record 5-9.
Shaky guard play, a multitude of turnovers and over a dozen missed free throws plagued the Graves County Eagles on Saturday afternoon as they fell to the Christian County Colonels 53-43 in the CFSB New Year's Bash consolation championship.
Despite their rusty play, the Eagles managed to stay close to the Colonels throughout the game, entering the fourth quarter down one, 24-23.
Things fell apart at the three minute mark of the fourth quarter though as the Eagles failed to keep up with Christian County's fast paced play.
After digging themselves into a four point deficit, Graves County lost all fight, missing free throws and turning the ball over multiple times as the Colonels ended the game on a 10-0 run to capture the 43-33 win.
Following the loss, Graves County head coach Josh Frick was blunt about his team's performance.
"You don't deserve to win the game when you turn the ball over 21 times and go 7-21 from the foul line. Its high school basketball, you have to shoot better than 33 percent from the free throw line."
Graves County will look to rebound from this loss Tuesday, Jan. 7, when they host the McCracken County Mustangs at the Eagles' Nest.
Christian Co. 15 7 2 19 - 43
Graves County 9 8 6 10 - 33
Christian County: Leavell 17, Bussell 9, White 9, Farrow 2, H. Forte 2, Q. Forte 2, Vaughn 2.
Field goals 13-42. 3-pointers 4-17 (Leavell (4)). Free throws 13-22. Reb: 27. Ast: 5. TO: 16. Fouls 19.
Graves County: Thomas 10, Grant 9, Brown 7, Babb 4, Oliver 3.
Field goals 12-28. 3-pointers 2-8 (Grant (1) and Oliver (1)). Free throws 7-21. Reb: 19. Ast: 9. TO: 21. Fouls 16. Record 5-10.