Blue Eagles fall to Northview
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
As they prepared for a Dec. 9 meeting with the Northview Chiefs in Bratt, the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles were seeking a much-needed win to help jump start their season.
With four starters returning from last season, the Blue Eagles entered the new season with the expectations of fielding a team capable of effectively matching up against the competition. But, after beginning the season 0-4, a win was needed to begin realizing those expectations.
The season's initial win, however, would not come at the expense of the talented Chiefs. Displaying impressive athleticism both inside and outside the paint, Northview controlled the game from the opening tip in handing the Blue Eagles an 83-53 loss.
The game began with the Chiefs employing a full-court pressure defense that created havoc for Neal's offense. By cashing-in numerous Blue Eagle turnovers and running the floor with their up-tempo style, the Chiefs built a 22-10 lead by the end of the opening period.
The Blue Eagles settled down in the second quarter and began making a run. With just over a minute left before halftime, the 12-point point deficit was reduced to nine. But, a couple of costly Neal turnovers allowed the Chiefs to break loose in the final 60 seconds of the quarter and stretch their halftime advantage to 39-22.
Neal (0-5) hung tough in the third quarter, but was unable to make any headway against the high-flying Chiefs. Northview padded its 17-point halftime lead to 21, 60-39, at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the Blue Eagles 23-14 in the final stanza to notch a 30-point victory.
Offensive leaders for Neal were Marcus Folmar and Keith Woods, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
As he assessed the Blue Eagles' early-season play, Neal head coach David Edgar said the start has been both surprising and disappointing, but emphasized he remains optimistic of his team's ability to improve.