After coming back from Christmas break and tournaments for the boys’ team, the War Eagles basketball teams came up against the Etowah Eagles Friday in a victory for the boys and a tough loss for the girls.
The Lady Eagles fell short in a close 46-45 that was, as seen from the score, down to the very bitter end to see who would prevail.
The team was down five in the fourth quarter but executed two time outs to perfection and turned up its defense, putting the girls up by one with only seconds left in the game. Marist had one foul to give at the end of the game, and they fouled rival Etowah’s point guard on the floor rather than on her shot, which allowed her to get to the basket and the win.
The girls had tournaments scheduled for Maui and the Virgin Islands that fell through, so they did not play over the holidays.
The boys took home the win against Etowah in their blowout 71-49 game.
With a fairly even game in the first half, the War Eagles picked it up toward the end of the third quarter with run after run down the court, giving them a lot of fast break points. Coach Greg McClaire also attributes a great win to senior Brandon Young’s presence, a key player who had been out due to a football injury. With him, defensive stops greatly increased, and communication within the defense went up.
Marist’s boys also played four games over Christmas break, three of them wins: Hamilton and Whitehaven high schools in Memphis, Tenn., and Johnson High School in Savannah; the team, however, lost to Archer High School of Gwinnett County in a close 57-55 game.
The boys beat Hamilton and Johnson by a considerable amount but beat Whitehaven with just seconds left on the clock. Down two points with 3.9 seconds left, Marist passed the ball in the deep corner to junior Bobby Perez, who, with a three-point basket, won the game by just one point.
We played four really good teams with four clearly different styles,” McClaire said. “One court blitzed full-court pressure all the time, another team was half-court pressure all the team, another team was running and trapping, one team played a lot of zones. In those four games, we got to see virtually all the styles we’ll see.”
Both teams next look to tough teams this week, rivals Chamblee and Columbia, on Friday and Saturday away at 7 .m.
“We’re really focusing on ourselves,” McClaire said. “Each one of those teams has some guys that can do some special things, and we’re going to take note of that. At the end of the day, there aren’t enough days to prepare a full day individually for every team. No matter who we’re playing, if we fall short, it’s going to be because of one [our fundamentals].”