Back on track?
So it seemed for the Columbia High School boys basketball team in its home opener against Wesclin.
“The game was just really fun Friday night,” Eagles basketball coach Mark Sandstrom said. “That is what high school basketball is supposed to be like. I think it got the kids’ enthusiasm and love for the game of basketball back.”
The Eagles, who lost to the Warriors by 18 points in their last game prior to Friday, defeated Wesclin, 72-30.
“Our enthusiasm, our effort, our aggressiveness was a 100 percent turn around from the first few games. It feels good and the guys got a taste of it,” Sandstrom said, adding that he is impressed with his team’s 60 point turn around in six days against Wesclin. I feel a lot more confident, not only with myself, but with my whole team,” Eagle point guard Adam Babb said Monday in practice.
Columbia (2-3, 1-0 in the Cahokia Conference) held Wesclin (2-3, 0-1) to just four points the entire first half, going into the locker room up 34-4, with its offense prevailing and its defense keeping the Warriors in check.
The Eagles’ Michael Hunsaker scored 13 points by the 5:50 mark in the second quarter, finishing the game with 24 points and shooting 9-for-14 from the field.
Hunsaker says he has taken on the role to be the team’s primary scorer now that Hayden Landgraf is out for the season.
“Instead of two players out there that can score the ball, it’s now pretty much just me. I have to score more points for us to stay in some games,” Hunsaker said. “But it’s not all just about me, the guys out there are trying hard and playing hard and a lot of them can score too.”
Coach Sandstrom said he felt his centers were more comfortable on the floor Friday than in the past. For example, Cole Foster was back in the line-up for the Eagles for the second time all season due to injury. He scored 12 points while teammates Connor Mallinckrodt and Adam Babb scored 10 and 8 points, respectively.
“Adam has really stepped up his scoring. He hasn’t always been a scorer in the past but he has stepped up to take on that role and help out,” Hunsaker said.
Babb crediting the post players for the win as well.
“It all starts with Cole Foster. He had a ridiculous game inside,” Babb said.
The Eagles now look to carry Friday’s success into the rest of the season. They faced Metro East Lutheran on the road Tuesday and will take on the Midgets at Freeburg Friday.
Sandstrom says, “We just hope its not a one hit wonder.”