Effingham Daily News
BEECHER CITY —
Cowden-Herrick and Beecher City don't meet often anymore across the span of a school year.
With co-ops in every sport but varsity volleyball and boys basketball, the rivals had one of their rare matchups Friday night for Beecher City's Homecoming.
Fittingly, the game was headlined by a former Hornet and current Eagle, as Brady Barnes had 23 points for Beecher City as they bested the Hornets 60-44.
Beecher City coach Jason Eirhart knew it was a big win for his Eagles, now 2-0 and 1-0 in both the NTC and EIC.
"It's one of those situations, so close together and the rivarly there," Eirhart said. "It's back and forth, and there's pride on both sides."
The Eagles grabbed an early lead behind Barnes in the first quarter, only to see threes by C-H's Colton Sphar and Dylan Barnes cut the lead to 10-8 late in the first quarter.
But Beecher City engineered a 7-0 run to end the quarter, ending with a last-second three by Jacob Kenter.
The second quarter was highlighted by Barnes and C-H's Colton Burrus, who each got going as the teams kept things relatively even. Beecher City led Cowden-Herrick 26-20 at the half, with Burrus scoring 10 in the frame for C-H and Barnes netting 13.
Both teams adjusted in the second half, with Burrus finding shots harder to come by and Cowden moving to a zone to contain Barnes.
Burrus would finish with 17, but Beecher City's secondary options stepped up as they pulled away.
"Teams are going to do that, (shutting down Burrus)," said Cowden-Herrick coach Marc Bain. "With one senior, we're still kind of inexperienced a little bit."
The Eagles pushed the tempo from the beginning of the half, pressing the Hornets and pressing the ball up court whenever they got the opportunity.
It paid off, as they led 44-26 after three and cruised in the fourth quarter.
Barnes' 23 were a game-high, even though most of the offense he had came on putbacks, free throws and layups in transition, including a spectacular scooping layup midway through the fourth.
"Believe it or not, We are supposed to be looking for him, sometimes we don't always do a good job," Eirhart said. "He finds a way, he's got a nose for the ball."
Outside of Burrus, Dylan Barnes and Konner Blackerby each had seven points.
Alex Doty had 11 points for Beecher City and Rexroad added nine of his own.
Cowden falls to 2-5, 0-2 in the NTC and 0-1 in the EIC with some work to do after the first two weeks of the season.
"We're trying to get some basketball smarts, which as a coach, it's my job to get that to the kids," Bain said.
The Hornets head to St. Elmo/Brownstown Tuesday night, while Beecher City faces St. Anthony at the Enlow Center.
Cowden-Herrick 8 12 6 18 44
Beecher City 17 9 18 16 60
C-H: Blackerby 7, Brunken 2, Sphar 5, Burrus 17, N. Sandiford 2, Nohren 2, Barnes 7, Evans 2
BC: Gardner 6, Doty 11, Lagerhausen 4, Rexroad 9, Kenter 5, Barnes 23