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Eureka's pace stings Pioneers

Eureka's pace stings Pioneers

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NORMAL - The Eureka High School basketball team was in no hurry to get where it wanted to go Friday.

That's a big reason the Hornets arrived with a 47-36 Corn Belt Conference victory over University High at U High Gymnasium.

"Cal (U High coach Cal Hubbard) does a great job of teaching the 1-2-2 (zone defense)," Eureka coach Tim Meiss said. "I think you have to be patient. You saw a few of the times we weren't patient we had turnovers. If you get impetuous and do things too quickly, it's very good. Even when we were patient, we had a hard time scoring."

The Hornets attempted just 34 shots but were deadly from the free throw line and controlled the backboards while moving to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Corn Belt.

"We had patience. We passed the ball around well," said senior guard Brett Stewart, who hit 10 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter. "We tried to limit our turnovers, and we sank our free throws."

U High trailed by a point after three quarters but shot 4 of 15 from the field in the final period while dropping to 4-5 and 1-3 in league play.

"Tim's kids had an answer for everything we did. They just played a much better basketball game," Hubbard said. "They beat us badly on the boards (35-19). When you don't shoot the ball well, you have to get second shots. We didn't get any second shots."

Two Nick Eeten baskets and a Jordan Prosser shot to start the fourth quarter pushed the Hornets' lead to 31-24. Drew Miller hit a jumper for U High before Stewart scored six of the game's next seven points from the free throw line.

"I think this makes up for the last game. I shot pretty bad from the free throw line," said Stewart, who scored all of his game-high 16 points in the second half. "I want to say 5 of 9. Pretty bad."

Two more baskets from Prosser, a 6-foot-5 freshman, put the game away at 41-27.

"Eeten and Prosser especially rebounded really well," Meiss said. "And other guys picked up loose balls bouncing around. It was a great team effort."

Prosser contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds, while Eeten had nine points and nine rebounds. Eureka shot 41 percent from the field and committed 14 turnovers, nine more than the Pioneers.

U High, which plays at Corn Belt rival Mahomet-Seymour today, shot just 28.6 percent from the field (14 of 49) and did not get to the free throw line until the fourth quarter.

"I didn't think our ball movement was very good. If the ball doesn't move we don't have kids who can free themselves on the dribble," said Hubbard. "I thought Eureka did a great job defensively of denying us in areas we're comfortable in. We've got to do a better job of playing five-man offense.

"Their big kid (Prosser) hurt us inside, but their guards just ate us up."

Seth Doran was the lone Pioneer in double figures with 10 points.

U High managed only four first-quarter points but was tied 15-15 after Doran banked in a 25-foot 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer.

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