It seemed like Bermudian Springs might be on its way to a win after three quarters Saturday.
Two weeks after the Eagles lost by 20 to Kennard-Dale, the Eagles were outplaying the Rams and leading by two going into the fourth. Unfortunately for the Eagles, there was still one more quarter to play.
The Rams tied the game on their first possession of the final quarter and never looked back in a 38-31 victory against Bermudian Springs (1-7).
Despite the result, Bermudian coach Tom Flaherty was pleased the Eagles stayed in the game until the end, something they didn't do the last time the two teams played.
"I think we're better individually and we're trying to get better collectively," Flaherty said. "The guys did a better job tonight than the first time we played them, but we've got some younger guys, some inexperienced guys."
The Eagles are an inexperienced team, with only two returning varsity players (Tristan Hoke and Quinton Nace). But what really hurt them on Saturday was not having an athlete capable of matching up with Kennard-Dale's Kyle Wooldridge.
Not only did Wooldridge finish the night with 22 points, he scored 10 in the fourth quarter and slammed home two dunks that seemed to suck the life out of the Eagles.
"You have to know where he's at and make him earn his points," Flaherty said. "He's physically strong and he's a tough matchup."
Although Wooldridge was a difference-maker down the stretch, the Eagles were able to make him earn his points for most of the evening. They also kept the rest of the Rams (2-6) in check and never let them develop any chemistry on offense.
Despite its record, Bermudian Springs has held opponents under 50 points five times in eight games. According to Kennard-Dale coach Grant Leonard, the Eagles fundamental style make them a headache to play against.
"They are disciplined to the point of frustration if you're playing them," Leonard said. "They screen, they pass, they catch people on backdoor cuts. That's what they did to us for the entire first half. You know when you play them you're going to get extremely disciplined basketball."
That discipline has kept the Eagles in some games but hasn't translated into many wins. In order for that to change, Flaherty said his players need to execute on offense so that small deficits don't seem so insurmountable.
"What you hope continues to develop is the quickness and the execution of everything," Flaherty said. "Down the road it'll look a little more crisp. Part of that is reading the defense and seeing what's open and where people are. Hopefully that'll continue to get better."
Kyle Wooldridge 10 1-1 22, Lowe 3 0-1 6, Osborne 2 0-0 4, Freese 0 2-4 2, Deppen 1 0-0 2, Jenkins 1 0-0 2. Totals — 17 3-6 38.
Bermudian Springs (31)
Nace 4 1-1 9, Petrosky 1 4-6 6, Hoke 2 0-0 6, Long 2 0-0 4, Staub 1 0-0 2, Byers 1 0-0 2, Kasulin 1 0-0 2, Hursh 0 0-0 0. Totals — 12 5-7 31.
Kennard-Dale _ 5 _ 8 _ 9 _ 16 _ — _ 38
Bermudian _ 8 _ 4 _ 12 _ 7 _ — _ 31
3-point goals — Bermudian Springs 2 (Hoke 2), Kennard-Dale 1 (Wooldridge)