Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 31, 2014

Eagles survive Windsor rally, win 70-63

Alex McNamee
Effingham Daily News

ALTAMONT — St. Elmo/Brownstown head coach Greg Feezel was glad his team scored 50 points in the first half against Windsor, otherwise the Eagles wouldn’t have been able to absorb the biggest blow.

All signs pointed to an Eagles rout, leading 50-23 at halftime, but Windsor didn’t give up. The Blue Devils were going to live and die by their man-to-man defense.

“We didn’t have to yell, didn’t have to scream, we just said, ‘This is a game where if we’re going to lose by 70 (points), we’re going to lose playing man,’” Windsor head coach Silas Pogue said. “These guys buckled in.”

They outscored the Eagles 24-4 in the third quarter, coming as close as seven points, twice, but couldn’t keep their dominance going in the fourth.

The Eagles won, 70-63, while only scoring 20 points in the second half. The Blue Devils doubled that.

“We got kind of tired,” Pogue said. “We’re not the best conditioned team, by any means.”

Feezel said his team got “content” in the second half, with a 27-point halftime lead. He said the Eagles weren’t as aggressive defensively and were “lazy with the ball” on offense.

The Eagles were a different team in the first half, led by Malachi Maxey, who scored 22 points in the first two quarters of the game. He went scoreless in the second half.

“He was in the right spots and the right time, took the shots he was supposed to and killed them,” Feezel said. “It would’ve been nice to see him score in the second half, because we needed it.”

Feezel said the first-half performance — 26 points in the first quarter and 24 in the second — was a result of a good practice on Wednesday, one night after losing to Neoga in their opening game of the National Trail Conference tournament.

“It was the kind of practice where they had to pay attention to what I wanted done,” Feezel said.

Jacob Behrends led the Eagles with seven points in the second half, totaling 21 in the game. He accounted for more than one-third of his team’s points after halftime.

Levi Maxey scored five of his nine points in the second half, but reached a career milestone on his only basket of the second quarter.

Maxey reached 1,000 career points, a mark he needed only four points to meet coming in to Thursday.

“Levi has done it the right way,” Feezel said. “He doesn’t just shoot all the time. He distributes the ball a lot.”

Windsor is eliminated from the tournament with the loss, but Pogue left with more positives about what his team can do down the stretch this season.

Alex Allen, who scored a game-high 28 points, showed up as the Blue Devils’ “best on-the-ball defender,” Pogue said.

The Eagles advance to the consolation title game on Saturday, immediately following the conclusion of the 11:30 a.m. game between Cowden-Herrick and South Central. They play the winner of Friday’s Stew-Stras and Beecher City game.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

Windsor 13 10 24 16 63

St. Elmo/Brownstown 26 24 4 16 60

Windsor: Haddock 3, Allen 28, Peadro 2, Cole 7, Warner 12, Blackburn 9, Ard 2

SEB: M. Maxey 22, L. Maxey 9, Behrends 21, Feezel 14, Hardimon 4