When the Hartville Eagles defeated Monroe City to win the Class 3 state title last season, an era came to an end for a senior class that won back-to-back state titles after compiling a 62-2 overall record. Hartville has a 42-game winning streak, which is. the seventh longest in state history.
Only senior Eric Wilson, who was a key player off the bench for the Eagles last year, returns with the goal of helping Hartville surprise a lot of teams during the 2021-2022 season. Wilson will be joined by juniors Brody McNiel, Haylon Bel and Ethan McDaris along with sophomores Logan Simpson, Grant Culver and Jalon Cryer.
A key newcomer will be freshman Jackson Ward.
Hartville head coach Brett Reed said his team’s strength will need to be defense and rebounding in order for his squad to be successful once again this season.
“Our goal each year is to compete for a district and state title,” Reed said. “However, there is no doubt this will be a year of growth for our team. I believe this team can get a lot better from November to February and our goal is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be come playoff time.”
Challenge and Clever Tournament
The Eagles opened their season in the 2021 Current River Challenge on Nov. 26 that featured just one game.
Hartville’s new starting line-up took a while to put things together in a contest with Winona.
In fact, they finished the first quarter tied at 6-6.
Fortunately, five different players scored in the second quarter to help them open up a 21-15 halftime lead.
Hartville would go on to outscore Winona, 28-20, in the second half in a 49-35 victory.
Seven different players scored for the Eagles in the win.
Both Eric Wilson and Jacob Ballard scored 10 points; Brody McNeil had eight points; Jackson Ward, Grant Culver and Logan Simpson each scored six points; while Jalon Cryer had three points.
In the 88th Clever Tournament, the Eagles are the No. 6 seed and took on Fair Grove Nov. 29. A win gave them a Dec. 3 match-up with either Springfield Catholic or Seneca at 6:30 p.m.. A loss gives them a contest with either Springfield Central or Clever at 5 p.m. The final day of the tournament had a Consolation title game at noon, third place game at 3:30 p.m. and a title game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4.