Eastwood boys can’t overome slow start

LUCKEY — A slow start and a poor shooting night from the foul line were too much for Eastwood to overcome
The Eagles battled back from a 14-2 deficit early in the second quarter, but still came up short in a
50-47 Suburban Lakes League loss to visiting Gibsonburg.
Eastwood was held to 50 or fewer points for the fifth time this season as it dropped to 2-5 overall and
2-2 in the SLL.
Gibsonburg snapped a three-game losing streak, improving to 4-3, 2-1.
“Right now, we’re really struggling on offense,” Eastwood coach Todd Henline said. “If you can’t score 50
points, you’re not going to beat too many teams.”
The Eagles made just 1-of-9 field goals in the first quarter as Gibsonburg held a 12-2 lead through eight
After a Gage Beaber basket built Gibsonburg’s largest lead of the game at 14-2 to open the second
quarter, Eastwood battled back and cut the lead to 24-20 at halftime.
“We were even in the ball game, but we had too many breakdowns that resulted in easy baskets for them,”
Henline said. “It was 24-20 and we probably had a seven-minute spurt in the first quarter where we
couldn’t finish, we couldn’t score.”
Eastwood held its only lead of the game after a Cody Jennings basket made the score 28-27 at the 5:53
mark of the third quarter, but Gibsonburg went on an 8-0 run after the Eagles’ short-lived lead and held
on to finish the win.
“This is a tough place to play. It’s always hard to play here,” said Gibsonburg coach Brent Liskai, who
lost starting senior guard Jeremy Helmke with an injury three games ago. “We’ve struggled the last three
games trying to find our identity. We’ve just been telling the kids we’ve got to come together as a team
and trust one another.
“We threw some freshmen in there and I’m not sure they even know what hit them yet,” he added. “I was
really proud of us. We stuck together through some tough stuff.”
The Eagles’ struggles at the foul line proved especially costly. Eastwood shot just 41 percent from the
foul line, converting 9-of-22 attempts.
“It’s a little different when you get in game situations. Truthfully, I would say our team is a good
free-throw shooting team,” Henline said. “It’s just tonight it seemed like we had some of our weaker
free-throw shooters percentage-wise getting to the foul line.
“You can’t control that, but at crucial situations where we could have made up a possession because we
got fouled we didn’t make the free throws.”
Beaber finished with a game-high 17 points and six steals while adding seven rebounds for Gibsonburg,
despite fouling out with 3:40 remaining in the game.
Junior post Logan Jones finished with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Golden Bears, and
junior guard Jordan Eddings added 12 points and five rebounds.
“Logan Jones had some moments and Gage Beaber had some moments, then Jordan Eddings took over for some
moments,” said Liskai, who was assessed a technical foul midway through the second quarter and was
forced to coach from his seat the remainder of the game.
“Probably not a good choice. I’m never proud of those,” Liskai said of the technical. “But I thought our
kids kind of buckled down right there and held together. It kind of showed that we’re a team, coaches
and players included.”
Gibsonburg also struggled from the charity stripe at 53 percent, finishing 16-of-30. Eastwood shot 36
percent from the floor (16-of-45) including a 6-of-24 effort from 3-point range.
Still, the Eagles had a chance to tie the game, trailing 47-44 with less than a minute remaining, but a
long 3-point attempt by Justin Faykosh came up too strong and Jones made three consecutive free throws
to push the Gibsonburg’s lead to 50-44.
Eastwood’s Jake Faykosh banked in a 3-pointer to finish the scoring, but with less than five seconds left
Gibsonburg simply held the ball without in-bounding as time expired.
“I was proud of our kids. We didn’t give up there at the end,” Henline said. “We had a chance in several
possessions where we could have tied it up and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Now it’s time to
pick ourselves up off the floor.”
Jake Faykosh led Eastwood with 15 points, while Jennings added 14 points and eight rebounds.
“Give Gibsonburg credit. They played hard. They did some nice things,” Henline said. “Right now it’s
gut-check time for us. Our backs are against the wall.”
Eastwood won the junior varsity game, 43-36. Nick Vespi led the Eagles with a game-high 17 points.
Eddings, 5-2—12; Beaber, 6-5—17; Dorfmeyer, 0-1-0—3; Jahna, 0-0—0; Flores, 0-0—0; Clark, 0-1—1; Sneider,
0-0—0; Jones, 4-8—16; Arriaga, 0-0—0; Cantrell, 0-1—1; Ernsthausen, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 15-1-17—50.
Goodman, 1-1-1—6; Jake Faykosh, 3-2-3—15; Justin Faykosh, 0-1-0—3; Schmeltz, 0-0—0; Peters, 0-1-0—3;
Abke, 0-0—0; Jennings, 4-1-3—14; Vespi, 2-0—4; Rutherford, 0-0—0; Ickes, 0-2—2. TOTALS: 10-6-9—47.
GIBSONBURG 12 12 13 13 —50
EASTWOOD 2 18 11 16 —47
Junior varsity: Eastwood, 43-26.