It must be difficult for any team to play in an almost empty gym, stadium, etc. That was the case, however, when both the Shelbyville Central Eaglettes and Eagles participated in the Coca-Cola Mid-South Classic at the Jackson County High School gym in Gainesboro, TN on Thursday. Both time and distance had a great deal to do with the low attendance. Even parents have difficulty getting off from work to attend an out-of-town game at 4 or even 5:30, especially when it's over a hundred miles from home.
I don't know that anyone from the Times-Gazette covered the game. At least Gary Johnson wasn't there taking those death defying shots at the ends of the court. (I'm referring to his possible death.)
The Eaglettes took care of Brentwood Academy early. At the end of the first quarter, our girls had a 17-7 lead. It was 32-15 at the half, 47-27 after three, and 59-37 was the final score. I don't keep stats, but at least 3 of the girls hit 3-pointers. Coach Burkey played every girl on the bench, which included 3 freshmen. They played well.
The Eagles definitely played a different ballgame. They faced Clarksville Northeast, which consisted of several really tall young men who made it almost impossible for the Eagles to grab a rebound. Also, Northeast's boys were difficult to stop under the goal. However, Central gave them a good game. They just couldn't match those tall boys. Emanuel Andrews was probably the top scorer of the evening. There were several 3-point shots made in this game also. At the end of the first quarter Northeast led 21-16. It was 33-24 at the half, 42-41 after three, and 59-54 at the final buzzer. The Eagles kept it close after the first quarter.
The brackets for this classic were in Thursday's Times-Gazette. Both of Central's teams will play again Friday at the same school. At 7 the girls will play the winner of Thursday's second girls' game, which was between Riverdale and Jackson County. At 5:30 Central boys will play the loser of the second boys' game of the evening between Jackson County and Lebanon. Both teams will play again Saturday, but the times depend on the outcome of Friday's games.
If you have finished your Christmas shopping and want a nice ride, mixed with some really good basketball, drive up to Gainesboro Friday night.