|CEU's John Rogers takes it to the hoop during a game last season. Rogers along with his teammates, are 7-2 this year.|
The CEU men's basketball team has opened the 2005 season with a 7-2 start. They will begin league play on Thursday against Dixie State College in St. George.
Coach Bryan Zollinger has high expectations for this year's team. The Golden Eagle team has a lot of strength this year. The squad brings a lot of experience to the floor as well as players who have a great work ethic and much athleticism.
The Eagles just returned from a non-region tournament in Longview, Wash. hosted by Lower Columbia College.
In the first game CEU was matched up against the Umpqua Community College Timberman. The Golden Eagles dominated the scoring. They defeated the Timberman 113-44. Defensively they also dominated on the glass, out rebounding Longview 48 to 28.
The second game was much closer. The Golden Eagles were paired against Clakamas Community College. The Eagles edged out the Cougars on the defensive end to hold on to an 83-78 victory. CEU went to the free throw line almost twice as much as CCC.
The Eagles also took better advantage of second chance opportunities and outscored the Cougars 27-12.
The championship game against the host, the Lower Columbia Red Devils, proved to be a heart breaker. The Golden Eagles let their guard down in the final seconds of over time and allowed the Red Devils a final scoring opportunity. The Red Devils didn't miss. The Eagles went down to defeat 95-96.
Coach Zollinger felt like the team had many chances to put the game away and didn't finish it off. Mental mistakes and careless play at key moments were the downfall to an otherwise successful tournament.
CEU player Tyler Billings led all scorers with 33 points. Michael McCrary led the defensive effort with eight rebounds. The Red Devils were deadly from three point range out scoring 42 points from beyond the arc.
In the end it was one shot that determine the outcome.
Next up for the Eagles is Dixie State College on Thursday night in St. George.