By Mike Buhler
The Vienna Eagles boys basketball team and the Zeigler-Royalton Tornadoes played a game last Saturday that ESPN might call an instant classic. Unfortunately, the Eagles came out on the short end of it as the Tornadoes’ Joe Earl hit the game-winner at the buzzer to give Zeigler-Royalton a 62-61 win.
Quinten Meyers hit a free throw with 5.3 seconds left to give Vienna a 61-60 lead, but Earl drove coast-to-coast and shot a 15-foot runner that bounced in at the buzzer to shock the Eagles.
“We schemed for that,” Vienna coach Stephen Dreher said after the game on the Eagles’ YouTube webcast. “We wanted him to catch the ball and we wanted to him to dribble the ball — but we were supposed to turn him. If we turn him one time, the game’s over, but we didn’t get him turned. But the kids did everything else that they were supposed to do.”
Last Tuesday, the Eagles lost 61-46 at Sesser-Valier. Vienna trailed 28-23s at half and 45-37 entering the fourth quarter before the host Red Devils pulled away.
Skylar Blankenship led Vienna with 21 points, while Dawson Hill added 12 and Owen Treat finished with 10.
The Vienna Lady Eagles basketball team got a key Black Diamond Conference West win in its lone action of last week, rallying past the Christopher Lady Bearcats 45-40 last Saturday.
The Lady Eagles trailed Christopher 24-17 at halftime, but rallied to tie the score at 29 by the start of the fourth quarter and then played strong down the stretch to get the win.
It was a good team win,” Vienna coach Rick Metcalf said. “We had some girls step up, most notably Emme Treat, who played stellar defense on Amaya Hargrove in the second half.”
Emma Rush paced the Lady Eagles with 15 points, while Natalie Webb added a season-high 10, Addison Bent had eight and Treat finished with six. Shaylee Moore added four points and Macie Whiting finished with two.
“It was Natalie Webb’s best all-around game so far this early season and two freshman came off the bench to give us a shot in the arm,” Metcalf said.