Eagles muscle past Fairfield
Eldorado avenges early season loss, 45-29; Visitors crash glass for 23rd win
The Eldorado Eagles had revenge on their minds heading into their conference matchup at Fairfield on Friday night.

The game, according to mentor Josh Bradley, was circled on a calendar.

With only two losses on the season and a state-ranking achieved, Coach Josh Bradley and his Eagles could now concentrate on winning the Black Diamond Conference East Division title.

To accomplish this feat, they would have to conquer the team that handed them their only league loss to date back in December.

Revenge turned into avenged as the Eagles took care of things on Friday night, punishing the host Mules on the boards to hammer out a 45-29 victory at the gym known as the Mule Barn.

Coach Bradley's large frontcourt, led by 6-foot-4 junior forward Braden Attebury who snagged a whopping 17-rebounds, crushed Fairfield 42-21 on the glass which led to enough points and stops for a 45-29 victory and sole possession of first place in the BDC East.

Not only did Eldorado improve its stock in the league at 6-1, Coach Bradley's bunch added to the overall mark which now stands at 23-2.

Their 41-40 loss to the Mules at home back on December 9 was sort of an eye-opener to the club who proceeded to win its own holiday tournament and are now 16-1 since the defeat.

The defensive effort by Eldorado limited the Mules to just 9-of-41 shooting in the fray.

“We've got some length and some guys with a little bit of jumping ability. It is just one of our strengths and we played it up tonight,” said Coach Bradley. “These guys hit the weight room pretty hard and football helps a little bit. I thought it (physicality) was the difference in the game. We're a really good defensive team. Some nights we shoot the ball really well. Sometimes its a quarter or two quarters. Tonight in the first quarter we hit some shots and kind of built ourselves a lead and we managed to keep that for the rest of the game.”

Head coach Scott McElravy's club fell to 12-11 over, 5-2 in the conference race, as they were ice cold all over the floor.

The Mules couldn't find the mark at all from the outside, going 0-of-11 from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Eagles didn't shoot the ball well on this night, either.

Coach Bradley saw his team hit just 16-of-47 from the floor, 2-of-9 from the arc.

But corralling 17-offensive rebounds in the game overshadowed the offensive woes.

Attebury led the Eagles offense as well, getting 14-points to earn a double-double on the night.

Max Kaisar, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, also threw his weight around in the paint for 11-points in the contest as the Eagles proved to be too physical for the Mules to deal with.

Reserve forward Ray May came in and added to the offense with nine-points while 6-foot-5 senior starter Ethan Partridge added seven before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Despite hitting just 34 percent from the field overall and a miserable 11-of-27 from the foul line, the Eagles were never threatened after intermission.

In fact had Eldorado made their foul shots in the fourth quarter the margin of victory could have been much larger.

The Eagles ended up going 5-of-14 from the stripe in the final eight minutes, which included a stretch in the last 2:39 of the game where they went 1-of-8.

The problem for Fairfield in this run was they couldn't capitalize. The Mules didn't score a point in the last 3:10 of the contest.

Eldorado never trailed in the game, getting off to a 13-3 lead behind a 9-0 run.

Attebury scored twice and Partridge got things going with a drive to the basket for a score while being fouled

His three-point play and yet another basket by Attebury, from the right corner, gave Eldorado a double-digit spread with 2:06 remaining in the first.

May stepped off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer to close the quarter and then Kaisar scored in the lane for a 18-7 lead in the early going of the second.

Fairfield had a slight bit of hope in the second frame, as they put together their best stretch of the night to close the gap by halftime.

Six-foot-four junior forward Jayden Lewis, who led the Mules with 10-points, scored on a drive that turned into a three-point play.

This triggered a 10-2 run, the best of the evening as Fairfield trailed just 21-18.

A bucket by Partridge sent the teams to the break with a five-point Eagles' advantage.

However any real hope of the Mules winning the second contest between the two clubs evaporated begrudgingly in the third quarter.

Not because of the Eagles flying away, but because Fairfield literally couldn't find the basket.

The Mules didn't score in the quarter until 1:14 remained.

Eldorado gradually got back to a double-figure lead.

The worst stat of the night came about in the third quarter as both of the teams together were an awful 3-for-27 from the field while Eldorado was 3-of-9 from the free throw line.

“We have been very inconsistent with scoring in general. Whether it was in the paint where we knew it would be tough with their extreme size or from the outside. We have really struggled the last couple of games shooting 3's. We have better shooters than that. I thought it would be one of our strengths this year but for some reason it's not been lately. Give credit to them (Eldorado) they killed us on the boards,” said Coach McElravy. “They are a really good team. But we got down 18-6 but we were just down 23-18 at the half and it was 26-20 in the third and then it felt like we didn't score the rest of the game.”

A 13-3 scoring move to begin the fourth by Eldorado was the end of the Mules' chances.

Attebury hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and Kaisar converted a fast break chance as the lead reached its maximum at 44-23.

Fairfield managed six-straight points, four from the foul line by Macklin Snyder and Caleb Smothers along with a bucket by Lewis.

But that was all she wrote for the scoring as the Eagles laid bricks from the foul line and Fairfield finished the fourth with a 2-of-9 run from the field.

“They missed a ton of free throws to kind of keep us in the game. We would give them chances but then we would come down and not score,” said Coach McElravy. “And you can't let that happen. We are playing a lot of younger kids and trying to find the right combination and hopefully we will. It's frustrating when you are scoring in the 20's and your not playing a 'slow down' game.”

Snyder finished with seven-points and sophomore reserve Brian Estes added six of the pine.

As if the game wasn't brutal enough offensively, the two teams totaled 30-turnovers, 15-each in the contest.

Both teams will head back to action at home on Tuesday night with the Eagles hosting Carmi-White County and the Mules inviting Hamilton County to town.

Eldorado's final three league games are at home at Duff-Kingston Gym against CWC, Johnston City and Edwards County.

Eldorado (45) – Oglesby 0 0 0-4 0, Meredith 0 0 2-6 2, Partridge 3 3 0 1-3 7, Attebury 4 1 3-3 14, Traxler 0 0 2-4 2, Kaisar 4 0 3-7 11, May 3 1 0-0 9.
2FG-14, 3FG-2, FT-11-27, PF-18.

Fairfield (29) – Snyder 0 0 4-6 4, McGill 3 0 1-2 7, Vaughn 0 0 0-0 0, Lewis 3 0 4-6 10, Dagg 0 0 0-0 0, Stewart 0 0 0-0 0, Smothers 0 0 2-2 2, McGaha 0 0 0-0 0, Estes 3 0 0-1 6, Hixenbaugh 0 0 0-0 0, Gilbert 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-9, 3FG-0, FT-11-17, PF-18.

Fouled Out – Partridge - Eldorado; Dagg - Fairfield.
Technical Fouls – None.