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Eagles rally to take third in Classic

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When the Hartville Eagles (No. 3) found themselves down, 18-2, in the first round game against No. 6 seed Marshfield of last week’s Family Pharmacy Panther Classic, an eventual first round loss left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players and staff.

The Eagles responded from their adversity, which also included some nagging injuries and illness, by avenging an early January loss to Willow Springs and by holding off a quality Forsyth program to claim the third place plaque.

In the battle for third place, All-Tournament selection Grant Culver took over the game early for the Eagles, providing a needed offensive spark.

Culver made scored six of the Eagles’ 12 points in the first quarter while both Jalon Cryer and Logan Simpson added 3-pointers.

Culver didn’t stop there. He would account for his own 9-0 run in the second quarter and had all of the Eagles’ 15 points to put Hartville up, 27-17, at halftime. Culver finished the first half with 21 points.

A 16-8 run in the third quarter was helped by Eric Wilson’s two, 3-pointers and 10 points in the frame.

With 4:30 left in the game, Forsyth hit a 3-pointer to make it a 48-46 game with the Eagles on top.

As Forsyth had the momentum, Simpson made an off-balanced shot with 3:40 left to end a difficult offensive stretch, giving the Eagles a 50-46 lead.

The Panthers would later cut the lead again to two points with :46 seconds left in the game, The Eagles would make 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the seven point win.

Culver scored a team-high 27 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal while Wilson tallied 12 points, all coming in the second half.

Simpson had eight points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal; Jacob Ballard added five points, eight rebounds and one assist; Cryer had three points and four rebounds; and Brody McNiel scored two points, two assists and one rebound.

Before the win over Forsyth, the Eagles handed Willow Springs just their fourth loss of the season when they beat a solid Bears’ team, 50-36. Willow Springs defeated the Eagles on Jan. 7, 46-44.

Hartville’s defense held the Bears to just four total points in the second quarter as Hartville led, 21-15, at halftime.

The Eagles made six 3-pointers in the first two quarters.

While Willow Springs’ Scottie Osborn scored all but seven of his team’s second half points, the Eagles had five different players score to help them to a 14-point victory. Culver finished the game with 18 points; Wilson had 16 points; both Payton Cogdill and Simpson had four points; both Cryer and McNiel had three points; while Jackson Ward had two points.

In the opening round, Marshfield opened the game with a 12-0 run and never looked back in a 44-31 win over Hartville.

Cryer had the team’s lone two points in the first quarter.

Down 27-10 at halftime, the Eagles did win the third quarter, 10-5. But that quarter was not enough as Marshfield pulled away late for the 13-point win.

No Hartville players scored in double figures.

Simpson made three, 3-pointers for nine points and three assists. Cryer had five points, four rebounds and one assist; both Culver and Cogdill had exactly four points, four rebounds and one assist; Ward had four points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist; Wilson had three points and three rebounds; and Ballard added two points and two rebounds.

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