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The Eagles Prevail In A Tough One Against Glendale

The+Eagles+Prevail+In+A+Tough+One+Against+Glendale
Victoria Beattie Phillips

“Defend, rebound, and stay together for 40 minutes.” A sentiment preached by head coach Trent Skinner and echoed by the players. That sentiment is shown on the court when you watch the Eagles play as they greatly emphasize each word. They especially emphasize togetherness on the court as they’ve shown an ability to pass the ball effectively, which can be highlighted by the fact that four players average double-digit scoring per game. It’s a big reason why the Eagles are coming off a phenomenal 25-3 season and look to make a deep tournament run this year. 

In the first round of the 3C2A SoCal Regional Tournament, the nine-seed Eagles hosted the 24-seed Glendale Vaqueros. The winner of this matchup would travel to take on eight-seed Moorpark. The Eagles were coming off a 25-3 regular season record, an improvement from their 22-5 regular season record last year. This season also saw coach Skinner win his 100th career game as a community college basketball head coach. The Vaqueros were coming off a 15-13 season and entered this matchup looking to upset the higher-seeded Eagles. The Eagles entered this matchup looking to carry over their momentum as they look to win the 3C2A State Championship.  

Victoria Beattie Phillips

The Vaqueros did not make it easy for the Eagles and played with a massive chip on their shoulder. The Vaqueros started off hot with an early 11-2 lead, but the Eagles went on an 11-0 run to take a 13-11 lead. At one point, the Eagles had a 23-16 lead, but the Vaqueros stormed back and took a 27-26 lead. It was a fierce back-and-forth first half, and the Eagles went into halftime with just a 38-36 lead. The Eagles struggled with rebounds, and the Vaqueros capitalized on turnovers. BJ Brown and Isaiah Skinner had ten and nine points in the first half, respectively. The Eagles making eight threes was just enough to keep them ahead in the first half, but they needed to limit the turnovers and get rebounds if they hoped to put away the Vaqueros. 

“I told them that we have to trust what we have been doing this whole time. We got to worry about blocking out, getting a rebound, and sharing the ball, and playing together. That’s what we’ve talked about all year.” Coach Skinner. 

The second half saw the Eagles jump to a phenomenal start; they opened the second half on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 46-36. It looked as though the Eagles were on the verge of putting the Vaqueros away, but they responded with a 10-0 run of their own to tie the game at 46 apiece. The second half had multiple lead changes as both teams refused to let the game get out of hand. With four minutes to go, the Vaqueros had a 69-68 lead over the Eagles, but that was the last time the Vaqueros had the lead. The Eagles went on a 13-0 run to take an 81-69 lead with a little over a minute left and held on to win 83-76. 

Victoria Beattie Phillips

“Just like what we’ve been preaching all year, “defense, rebounds, and staying together for 40 minutes,” defend and rebound together, and we’re going to get the win every time.” Isiah Shirley.  

The Eagles did not let the slow start deter them and fought back. When the Vaqueros continued to apply pressure and kept things close, the Eagles were not rattled. In the second half, the Eagles won the rebound battle and limited their turnovers to just three, which ultimately put them in position to put away the Vaqueros with a minute left in the game. Isiah Shirley had a clutch performance in the 2nd half, making two three-pointers and scoring 13 points in the 2nd half. 

“It’s playoff basketball. We knew it was going to be tough. You survive, you get to advance, you lose, and you go home. We had a group of sophomores who weren’t ready to have their season and Mt. San Jacinto career end.” Coach Skinner. 

Isiah Shirley finished as the game’s scoring leader with 20 points. Elijah Shirley led the Eagles in rebounds with seven, and Jackson Bernardo led the Eagles in assists with six. In total, the Eagles had four players hit double-digit scoring, with Dasean Stevens scoring 15 points, BJ Brown scoring 14 points, Isaiah Skinner scoring 12 points, and Isiah Shirley’s 20-point performance. The Eagles have had a balanced offensive approach all season, with four players averaging double-digit scoring per game, highlighting their ability to share the ball effectively. 

“My teammates trusted me with the ball. I was open and knocked open shots; just played my game, really.” Isiah Shirley on his 20-point performance. 

Victoria Beattie Phillips

“We have so many different people that can step up and score some buckets for us and help us win games. Tonight, Isiah Shirley was great, and we’re constant with a good group of sophomores and it’s been an absolute pleasure coaching them, and it’s beyond exciting to advance to the next round.” Coach Skinner on the Eagles victory. 

If the Eagles were to make a deep tournament run, it would be because of their togetherness and ability to pass the ball and get assists effectively. “Defend, rebound, and stay together for 40 minutes” is a sentiment shared and echoed by this team, and they will continue to echo it as they journey through this tournament. The Eagles will travel to Moorpark to play in the second round of the SoCal Regional Tournament. 

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About the Contributors
Derrick Spearman
Hello, my name is Derrick and I am a Journalism major here in MSJC. I like to write about sports, politics, and social issues. My goal is to one day become a sports journalist or a beat writer for a major sports team. I am a big fan of the Los Angeles Chargers and Dodgers and even though I have favorites, I like to remain as impartial as possible with my work. Aside from following sports, I like to go on long walks, listen to music, and do a bit of gaming.  
Victoria Beattie Phillips
Victoria Beattie Phillips, Photographer / Social Media
Hi my name is Victoria. I admire photography and enjoy being behind the lens. Pictures tell a story often times without words so I try to capture a part with every snap. At a young age I enjoyed disposable cameras to take photos of scenery and wildlife. Currently, I still enjoy wildlife photography but looking to expand my skills so different stories can be seen.

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