Fouls and a starter’s injury dogged the footsteps of the Fordland Eagles Friday night and ultimately led to their defeat at the hands of Summit Conference rival Seymour by a 14-point margin.
The Eagles led through the first quarter, 13-12, and the second 24-22.
But then the wheels fell off.
According to head coach Terry Mitchell, an injury to junior Noah Sparks caused the team to lose momentum in the first half.
“He pretty much was playing on one leg after that (the injury), and he’s a big part of what we do,” Mitchell said.
Conversely, Seymour helmsman Chris Hastings said that he felt his team was sluggish in the first half, and gained momentum as time went on.
“All the things that we talked about in practice, we weren’t doing in the first quarter,” he said.
Hastings said he fell back on an old standby to get out of the slump that his team rarely uses – man-to-man defense.
“That’s my go-to when the team seems to need a burst of energy,” he said.
Seymour outscored the Eagles by 9 points to take a 44-35 lead at the end of the third quarter. They extended that lead to ultimately clinch a 61-47 victory.
After the win, Hastings complimented his squad’s defensive presence inside the paint.
“They did a good job containing (junior Noah) Abbasi,” he said. “He’s likely to be first team all-conference, so that’s a feat.
“Every shot he made, he earned it.”
After the contest, Mitchell handed out accolades to freshman Hunter Burks.
“Our freshman, Burks, he came out and played like a man,” he said. “He came out and gave us all he had for all four quarters, and that’s hard to do as a freshman playing on the varsity level.”
Seymour senior Cortland Yates scored a game-high 25 points to lead all scorers. Kyle Forbis netted 13 for the Tigers, while Cy Yates contributed 7 points. Seniors Chris Haywood and Derek Hetebry each netted 6 points while classmate Landon Bell scored 3 points. Senior Tristan Kelly rounded out the Tigers’ scoring attack with one point.
Abbasi led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points. Burks netted 11 points, while Jake Farnsworth and Corey Sampaio each scored 6 points. Senior Alex Matney scored 4 points, while junior Noah Sparks netted 3 points.
The win brought Seymour’s record to 9-8. Fordland’s record now stands at 10-5.