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East Prairie eighth grade boys punch ticket to sectionals

By Caleigh Parsley
Thursday, Jan. 18
Seventh Grade
Tuscola-33; Sullivan-26

Colton Musgrave-4 points, 5 rebounds; Easton Cunningham-11 points, 1 assist; Hunter Branca-1 rebound; Will Cowan-2 points, 3 rebounds; Chris Boyd-7 points, 1 rebound; Boston Broady-7 points, 6 rebounds; Grant Kaufman-2 points, 3 rebounds

Eighth Grade
Tuscola-41; Sullivan-21

James Parsley-7 points; Spencer Thaxson-1 rebound; Dylan Homann-1 rebound; John Hegarty-1 assist; Thomas Brown-2 rebounds; Jalen Quinn-10 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists; Haven Hatfield-6 points; Peyton Armstrong-4 points, 1 rebound; Rajan Patel-1 point; Landon Banta-3 points, 2 rebounds; Preston Brown-6 points, 1 assist; Pat Pierce-4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist

Saturday, Jan. 20 started Regionals in Tuscola for the seventh grade East Prairie boys as they defeated Westville 29-14.

Colton Musgrave-2 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists; Easton Cunningham-1 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists; Hunter Branca-2 points, 1 rebound; Will Cowan-6 rebounds; Chris Boyd-10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist; Boston Broady-10 points, 9 rebounds; Grant Kaufman-4 points, 2 rebounds

The seventh grade boys played again Tuesday, Jan. 23 losing to St. Joe 11-47 in the Regional Semi-finals unfortunately ending their season with a 10-12 overall record.

Colton Musgrave-3 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Easton Cunningham-2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist; Mason Jones-4 points, 1 rebound; Will Cowan-2 rebounds; Boston Broady-4 rebounds; Grant Kaufman-2 points

Coach Conner Plotner said, “I am really proud of how much we improved from the beginning of the season. The boys always worked extremely hard, and I know they are going to keep getting better for next year.”

Saturday, Jan. 27 started Regionals at home for the eighth grade boys as they beat Oakwood 37-32.

James Parsley-5 points, 2 rebounds; Thomas Brown-1 assist; Jalen Quinn-21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists; Haven Hatfield-5 points; Peyton Armstrong-6 points; Rajan Patel-1 rebound; Landon Banta-1 rebound; Pat Pierce-5 rebounds

Tuesday, Jan. 30 the eighth grade boys advanced to the Regional Championship after beating Georgetown 38-36.

James Parsley-5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Jalen Quinn-18 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists; Haven Hatfield-6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Peyton Armstrong-9 points, 1 rebound; Rajan Patel-1 rebound; Pat Pierce-3 rebounds

Coach Dustin Dees had a lot to say after the Regionals Semi-final game.

“We are answering the bell right now,” Dees said. “The last couple of games we have faced a lot of adversity and met each challenge head on. Last night we just didn’t get it done in the first half and credit to Georgetown for just working extremely hard. Second half we came out a completely different team. Probably one of the best halves of basketball we have played all year. To climb back down nine points to a team that is 21-1 and to win is huge. Jalen did a really nice job of looking up the court and seeing Haven, who got a really nice break to the basket. That last shot summed up our second half, we just played really smart and fundamental putting us in position to win. Again, credit to Georgetown, they are a really good basketball team that features a really amazing guard in Steinbaugh. We talked about how much fun it was going to be to play a team of their caliber.”

Thursday, Feb. 1 the EP basketball boys beat St. Joe 56-41 in the Regional Championship. Congratulations and good luck on Wednesday, Feb. 7 against Monticello at Monticello in Sectionals.

James Parsley-2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Jalen Quinn-32 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists; Haven Hatfield-13 points, 6 rebounds; Peyton Armstrong-5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists; Preston Brown-2 points, 1 rebound; Pat Pierce-2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Coach Dees said this regional tournament was one of the toughest he’s been a part of in nine years of coaching basketball.

“The fact that our boys fought through adversity all tournament and beat a team that beat us by 17 points early in the year speaks volume for our kids efforts and will to win,” Dees said. “As a team we played really well defensively in the second half holding St. Joe to 15 total points. We have hung our hat on the defensive end all year, and that game proved that defense does indeed win championships. We have checked off 3 of our 5 goals for this season after this Regional title. We are excited to get our ticket punched to the next challenge! We can’t wait to take the floor against Monticello in the Sectional Championship, our kids are chomping at the bit to say the least. Monticello is a great basketball team, and we are excited to throw the ball up and play!”

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