Even after they walked away with the championship trophy with Mulberry Grove on Saturday, Joey Eddy’s players may tell you that he pointed out some errors they made in the title game.
But that, Eddy said, is part of the process of making the Patoka squad better.
“We’re learning,” Eddy said after the Warriors squeezed by St. Elmo in the title game of the Mulberry Grove Thanksgiving Tournament.
“I tell them, we’re nitpicking, but that’s good; you want to nitpick things, so when we do get in those big game, like tonight, we don’t make the same mistakes,” Eddy said.
In the title game, Jered Cain, who was given the tournament’s MVP honors, made three free throws in the final 20 seconds to provide the final margin in the 59-56 win over St. Elmo/Brownstown.
After Cain made the first of those free throws, SEB’s Landon Feezel scored with eight second left, and a three-point attempt just before the buzzer that would have tied the game was off-target.
Patoka fought back from an early deficit, as Lewis Brown hit four three-pointers to push the Eagles to a 25-14 first-quarter edge.
Patoka creeped within three at halftime by outscoring SEB 15-7 in the second quarter, with Cain scoring 11 of his game-high 30 points in that stanza.
The Warriors outscored the Eagles 16-10 in the third quarter, and their three-point lead held as each team put 14 points on the board in the final quarter.
Garrett Belcher added 21 points to the Warriors’ cause, Bailey O’Brien had six points and Jordan Cobb had two.
Brown led SEB with 24 points, with 18 coming on three-pointers, and Feezel added 20. Klayton Kroll had eight points, Isaac Maxey had five, and Dylan Brooks had three.
In addition to Cain, named to the all-tournament team were Belcher; Feezel and Maxey of SEB; Trevor Markley o South Central; Brady Black of Ramsey; Coleton Downes of Sandoval; Cortlyn Latham of Mulberry Grove; Brandon Repking of North Clay; and Roger Conlee of Mt. Olive.
South Central took third place with a 59-54 win over Mt. Olive, North Clay won fifth place with a 65-62 win over the host team, and Ramsey defeated Sandoval, 54-42, in the seventh-place game.
The SEB squad was given the cheerleading trophy.
Eddy said that his squad didn’t let up after falling behind by 11.
“I told them (his players) that might happen,” Eddy said. “We never really play man(-to-man defense), so we’re trying to put that in – it’s a work in progress.
“I’ve got four kids I have never coached, so they’re just learning to play with the rest of the guys,” he said.
While disappointed with the loss, SEB coach Greg Feezel was pleased with his team both in the championship game and throughout the tournament.
“I hate to lose it, but it was a good ballgame,” Feezel said.
“I wanted to find out where we stood as a program, and this (Patoka) team is good.
“I thought that we played pretty well most of the night,” he said.
“The big turning point was their 7-0 run in the third quarter,” Feezel said. “But even then, we were able to grab the lead back.”
A missed shot with about two minutes left, he felt, was big. “If that falls, who knows what happens.”
Feezel feels good about his team at this point.
“I feel like we know a little bit about ourselves, and that we proved ourselves (in this tournament), that we can play.
“We’re fine,” he said. “We just have to come back next week and get after it, not let this bother us too much.”