ST. PAULS — East Bladen withstood a second-half St. Pauls rally to post a 52-47 non-conference win over the Bulldogs on Wednesday.
The win has the Eagles out to a 2-0 start on the season.
Farrell Murchison provided much of the early offense for East Bladen, nailing a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter to stake the Eagles to a 9-5 lead. But St. Pauls fought back and knotted the game at 10-10 by the time the first quarter ended.
In the second quarter, Eian Hines drilled a three-pointer for the Eagles and added a trio of free throws to propel East Bladen to a 21-19 edge at intermissoin.
East Bladen opened the second half with a 12-5 spurt for a 33-24 lead, but the Bulldogs chipped away down the stretch of the third quarter and trailed by a 35-30 margin going into the final 8 minutes.
Josh McMillian came alive in the fourth quarter for the Eagles, canning seven points to help hold off St. Pauls, which had narrowed the gap to 37-36 early in the quarter. But a 6-2 run by East Bladen stretched the lead back to 43-38 before the Bulldogs closed to with two twice. McMillian then hit a trio of foul shots to put the Eagles up 48-43 to start a game-ending 7-4 spurt that sealed the game.
Murchison led East Bladen with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Jaquan Jones scored 10 points. Hines finished with eight points and McMillian added seven.
— It took a quarter to get the offense in gear, but once it did the Eagles of East Bladen used a big second and third quarter to hand visiting East Columbus a 63-46 non-conference loss on Monday in Elizabethtown.
The season-opening win moves the Eagles to 1-0.
East Bladen struggled through the first 8 minutes of the season and managed to take a 9-6 lead over the Gators.
But in the second stanza, the Eagles exploded for 24 points and took a 33-20 lead into the locker room for halftime.
That momentum continued in the second half, as East Bladen doubled up the Gators in the third quarter, 22-11, to expand the lead to 55-31.
East Columbus rallied slightly down the stretch, outscoring the Eagles by a 15-8 margin in the fourth quarter, but East Bladen easily sealed the win.
Jaquan Jones led the Eagles with 17 points, while Josh McMillian added 13 points.