Sunday, Nov 2; 7:41 A.M. Central Time
Trent Bowdre made his fifth three pointer with 30 seconds remaining in the game to put his Eagles middle school squad ahead for good against the Oklahoma City Storm in the championship game of the NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament in Springfield, Missouri. Bowdre followed the big shot by forcing a Storm turnover, and Xavier Harrison then fed Germane Armstrong, who scored a layup to give the Eagles the 32-27 win. Bowdre led the Eagles Saturday with 17 points.
The win was the third straight for coach Will Avery’s team, which faces the defending Richmond County champion Langford Middle School in the Player360 Invitational Friday at 6 P.M. at Grovetown High School.
See the highlights from Saturday's championship game win here.
See the highlights from Saturday's championship game win here.
Sunday, Nov 2; 7:30 A.M. Central Time
The varsity Eagles North team bounced back from its semifinal loss to defeat the Lakeshore Thunder 60-45 in the 3rd place game of the NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament. Kyle Brown led all scorers with 19 points, including 15 during a 37-19 Eagles run that lasted throughout the 2nd and 3rd quarters. TJ Massenburg scored 9 of his 10 points during that stretch as well.
The varsity Eagles North team will next face the South Carolina Sports Academy (the first of many games against “prep school/post graduate” teams) at 8 P.M. at Grovetown High School in Friday’s Player360 Invitational. The team will then join all of the Eagles boys teams and the Greenbrier boys and girls high school and middle school teams in hosting the “Eagles/Wolfpack Tip-Off Jamboree” at Greenbrier High School Saturday.
The highlight video of Saturday's win (below) is long because the Eagles played a very deliberate style. The team’s patience and ball movement was encouraging because it showed that this group of players who have not played together very long is already finding chemistry.
Saturday, Nov 2; 12:30 A.M. Central Time
The Eagles middle school team won its second NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament game handily, setting up a championship game matchup with the OKC Storm, homeschool basketball's most accomplished program. Eric Graham led the Eagles with 18 points in the Friday's victory against the Northwest Arkansas Hornets.
Speaking of the OKC Storm...
The Eagles North varsity squad fell to the homeschool basketball defending national champion 69-46 in the semifinal round Friday evening. The loss places the Eagles in the third place game (2:30 P.M. CT) against Lakeshore Thunder (WI).
Jaylan Robinson, and Kyle Brown combined to score 27 points in the games first 14 minutes, and Malik Welch's three pointer with 2 minutes remaining in the first half tied the score at 30. But OKC ran off 7 straight points to take a 37-30 lead into half time. And after Robinson opened the second half with a basket, the Storm went on a 21-6 run and never looked back.
Robinson led the Eagles with 17 points, and Johnson added 10. See the highlights here.
Friday, Nov 1; 2 P.M. Central Time
The Eagles middle school team began its season Friday morning with a 59-23 rout of the Mountain Home Lions in NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament play. Eric Graham and Trent Bowdre led the way with 14 and 13 points, respectively. The youngest Eagles team will face the NWA Hornets Friday evening at 5:50 P.M. Central Time. A win this evening would place the Eagles in the championship game Saturday morning.
Coach Will Avery’s team looked very polished, especially for a middle school team playing in its first official outing as a unit. The Eagles made six 3 pointers and worked together to get excellent shots both in half court sets and in transition. In addition to leading the team in scoring, Bowdre and Graham created easy scoring opportunities for teammates Aaron Massenburg (8 points), Germane Armstrong (6 points), and Sawyer Stone (7 points). See the highlights here.
Eagles South Falls to St LouisThe St Louis Patriots defeated the Eagles South varsity 76-58 Thursday morning. The Eagles South are showing the signs of a potentially solid team only 36 hours after playing together for the first time. Deangelo Fields and Jabin Walker each scored 21 points and Fields added 14 rebounds. The team will play again at 2 P.M. Central Time Friday. A win would even the team’s record at 2-2 for the young season. See highlights from Friday morning’s contest here.
Thursday, Oct 31; 9:54 P.M. Eastern Time
Daquarius Johnson made two free throws with 8 seconds remaining to lead GAIS Eagles North to a 61-59 over Tulsa NOAH in the NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament quarterfinals Thursday evening. The game was somewhat of a rematch of last season's national tournament quarterfinal game between the same two teams. Tulsa defeated the Eagles in March before finishing 3rd in the nation. The Eagles finished 7th.
Thursday's game was filled with exciting swings and excellent individual performances. The Eagles took a 38-22 halftime lead after Johnson and Jaylan Robinson controlled the offensive tempo. Johnson did it all, scoring from deep, getting to the basket off the dribble and making shots in transition and off the offensive glass. And Robinson made a number of nifty floaters and shots at the rim after clearing the defensive glass and darting up the court with the ball before the Tulsa defense was set. See the highlights from the big first half run by Johnson, Robinson, and the rest of the Eagles here.
However, Tulsa NOAH outscored the Eagles 31-9 during the first 12 minutes of the second half, taking a 53-47 lead with 4 minutes remaining. But Kyle Brown and Malik Welch made big baskets and free throws to keep the Eagles close. And Brown, who scored 8 of his 12 points in the second half, convert a left handed shot off the glass in traffic to give GAIS a 59-57 lead with under a minute left. After Tulsa made two free throws, Johnson followed his own miss and was fouled after securing the offensive rebound. He then calmly sank the game winning free throws. See the highlights here.
Three Eagles scored in double figures, led by Johnson (23), Robinson (13), and Brown (12). GAIS will face one-half of the defending national champion OKC Storm Friday at 8 P.M. The Storm split its team into two roughly equal units for the season's opening tournament.
The Eagles middle school squad opens tournament play Friday at 8:30 A.M. Central Time. And after advancing to the second round of the consolation bracket with a win Thursday evening, the GAIS Eagles South varsity team will look to further advance Friday at 9:45 A.M. Central Time.
Thursday, Oct 31; 4:26 P.M. Central Time
The GAIS Eagles North opened its tournament with a convincing win over the Jackson Victors. Jaylan Robinson, one of four double digit Eagles scorers, led the way with 14 points. TJ Massenburg added 13, and DJ Demmons and Daquarius Johnson adder 12 each. Ten different Eagles players scored. See highlights from the game above.
During our last "This Week in Eagles" episode, I told coach Will Avery that I was worried about adjusting to regular season play. After playing in the Spring, Summer, and Fall Leagues, where individual fouls are not tallied, I anticipated having trouble adjusting. The worries were warranted in our first game. Starters Jaylan Robinson, Kyle Brown, and Daquarius Johnson all entered half time with four fouls. But I believe we improved during the game. And I look forward to seeing how the guys progress in our 7:15 P.M. game against last season's third best team nationally, Tulsa NOAH.
The Eagles South team lost big to the defending national champion OKC Storm. Eagles South will face the Missouri Mavericks in consolation round play at 4:40 P.M.
Thursday, Oct 31; 12:30 A.M. Central Time
Eighteen hours after leaving Augusta, the two Eagles varsity teams, the Eagles middle school team, eight parents, and two coaches arrived at the hotel in Springfield, Missouri. We saw Memphis Eagles girls coach Tracy Rice and some her players in the lobby. The Memphis Eagles girls are ranked #1 nationally in hslive365.com's pre-season poll (our GAIS Eagles boys are ranked #3). In addition to coach Rice, we were greeted with the sign to the left on the doors of our rooms.
This morning's update (below) details the schedule for the next day or two. Check back tomorrow afternoon for an update from the Eagles North and Eagles South's first round games.
Wednesday, Oct 30; 8 A.M.
The GAIS Eagles (the homeschool basketball program Will Avery and I coach) just left for the NCHBC Tip-Off Tournament in Springfield, Missouri. The NCHBC (National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships) is the organization that hosts the regional and national championship tournaments that our Eagles have attended for most of our four year history. Last week, Will and I produced a 23 minute long show (above) highlighting our experiences with the NCHBC tournaments.
I hope to frequently update this post with an account of our trip. As it stands, our charter bus has just merged onto I-20. We have with us two varsity teams (Eagles North and Eagles South) and one middle school team. Our varsity teams will begin play Thursday. The Eagles North squad will face the Jackson Victors (MS) at noon. And the Eagles South team will play immediately after that against one of the two teams representing the 2013 homeschool national champion Oklahoma City Storm (OK). (*See explanation below for the two team scenario below). The Eagles middle school group will begin play Friday at 8:30 A.M. Friday versus the Mountain Home Lions.
*We have two varsity teams this season. The Eagles North is our "A" team. We aim to have the rosters set after this weekend's "preseason" tournament. Because I referred to the OKC Storm above, I will say it is my impression that the defending national champs have entered two roughly equal teams into this tournament. We expect both to be dynamite, of course. But the tournament field is exceptional in many more ways. Hopefully the video above does a good job of explaining the scene our 2013-2014 Eagles are entering.