SPENCER, Tenn.–Scoring 80-plus points is often a precursor to winning in high school basketball, and Van Buren County attested to that Saturday night with their 82-42 victory over Region foe Boyd-Buchanan.
“It’s exciting to score a lot of points,” Eagles head coach Dustin Sullivan said. “Usually when you’re doing that, you’re getting to play a lot of kids. It’s easy to do that when you shoot the ball really good, and we did that tonight.”
Backed by Caden Mills’ multiple thunder-inducing jams, the Eagles were able to score in droves falling just short of the 50-point mark before halftime. Sawyer Shockley and Jacob Crain actually outscored Mills, combining for nine 3-pointers in the first half alone.
“Boyd-Buchanan wanted somebody else to beat us early,” Sullivan explained. “They started using a Triangle-2 on Caden and Bo Walker. I just told the other guys to use that as motivation and show them that you’re more than capable. If somebody’s going to play off of you, you’ve got to step up and get shots.”
Into the second half, the Van Buren County barrage continued with a 22-point third quarter that featured a benched Mills and Walker with several second-string players getting some playing time.
“It just helps to get those guys feeling good,” Sullivan continued. “It can be hard sitting over there watching older guys play a lot. It’s nice for them to get into the game. It also helps rest the older guys’ legs. That’s important for them not to play the whole time.”
The Eagles were able to put up 82 points on the night without Mills and Walker as the main contributors. In fact, the Buccaneer defense held both to a combined 17 points, which dwarfs even Mills average of 25-26 points a game.
The problem lied, though, in the depth of Boyd-Buchanan as they were unable to keep an eye on other contributors.
“They’re very young,” Sullivan said. We’ve all been there before, and coach Gilbert does a really good job. When you’re young like that and in that situation, our mentality was to get after it early. We wanted to give them some pressure and see if they could handle it.”
For Sullivan and crew, the Saturday night do-or-die matchup felt like any other regular season game in part to the schedule of games. The girls usually play their region games a day before, but the Eagles and Eaglettes both hosted Boyd-Buchanan.
“The scheduling help with the routine of things,” Sullivan said. “This time of year, you can always feel a difference in the atmosphere and intensity, regardless of the situation. It did help the routine, knowing what all is going to happen.
Van Buren County travels down to Marion County High School for a match up with Silverdale Academy on Tuesday at 7:45 PM central. Their game will follow the showdown between Richard Hardy and CSAS at 6:00 PM central time.
BBS — 8 | 11 | 16 | 7 || 42
VBHS — 24 | 25 | 22 | 11 || 82
BBS (42) — Thomas Baker (9), Jacob Oliver (8), Riley Covington (6)
VBHS (82) — Sawyer Shockley (18), Jacob Crain (17), Caden Mills (14)