CLAY CITY -- The Eels fans came in hoping for a victory and a sectional title for the first time since 1976. In front of a packed house that resembled the 1970 glory days for the Eels, the fans were not disappointed.
From the beginning of the game until the very end, Eels fans were shouting their support for the home team. It must have helped too because the team was in control for most of the game and won 43-29.
The visiting Lakers came out and went up 5-2 before the Eels got it together and put together a 12-4 run capped off by an Elliott Booe 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter with the score standing at 14-9.
In the second quarter Booe carried the team, hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer and the Eels were able to build their lead to 12 points at the half leading 26-14.
In the second half the Eels were patient and took their time looking for good shots and although it was a low scoring quarter, the Eels maintained and outscored the Lakers 8-7 to take a 34-21 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the Lakers fought back a little and cut the lead to seven but the Eels played patiently and battled it out and ended up with a 14 point victory.
The Lakers were forced to foul in desperation towards the end of the game and the Eels made them pay at the line. The Eels shot 48.4 percent from the floor while Shakamak struggled and shot 36.4 percent for the night.
One of the biggest stories of the night was the attendance. It resembled a scene from the classic movie "Hoosiers" in that both crowds were vocal and people were packed into the stands. In the days when "Hoosier Hysteria" seems to be dying out, this scene proved not to be the case.
The Eels got all of their scoring from four players.
They were led by Booe's 21 points with 15 of them off 3-pointers. Matt Farmer had 13 points, Roger Harden had five and Camrand Tucker added four.
The Lakers had only three scorers. Josh McDaniel had 20 points, Josh Langford had seven, while Tyler Rhemel chipped in a pair.
After the game, Coach McVay was very pleased saying, "I've maintained all along, any win in these sectionals is a quality game." He also said that they are not expecting anything to come easy to them saying, "We're gonna have to play good basketball regardless of what team we play." He also said, "I have a lot of respect for what Coach Johnson had done with their team this year," commenting on the Shakamak coach.
The Eels are now 18-4 including sectional play, but Coach McVay said that the only thing that matters now is that his Eels are 1-0 and that the regular season doesn't matter anymore.
In the second game of the night Bloomfield beat the Union Bulldogs 60-23 to advance to the semifinals versus the Eels at 6 p.m. on Friday night.
The game will be a chance for retribution for the Eels who were defeated by Bloomfield in the fifth game of the season.