The Braves shot just 3-of-13 from the field in the opening half and 5-of-18 over the first three quarters as Eastern’s lead swelled to 51-27 by the end of the third quarter.
In addition to the cold-shooting, the Braves’ 24 turnovers gave Eastern all the momentum it needed to keep the lead at more than a comfortable distance throughout the game.
“Obviously, when you’re down that much, you’ve got to try to do more than what’s expected,” Steele said. “That gave us some turnovers. Maybe we gambled a little too much. Right now, I feel like I’m in quicksand. It seems like anything we’re trying to do, offensively and defensively, line-up changes, whatever it is, nothing seems to be working. I’m sinking and I’m up to my neck right now. We need to find a way to regroup quickly.”
Mac might have got that hint of a spark in the waning moments Wednesday, going 8-of-14 over the final quarter. The Braves outscored the Comets 22-13 in the frame, shaving a 27-point Comet lead midway through the period to 15 by the final buzzer.
“We handled their run in the end,” Springer said. “We shot some bad shots but we held on to the ball and we were 11-of-12 from the free throw line down the stretch. Eventually, they were hitting their 3’s, but we were able to pull the game out.”
Sophomore Braden Evans added 11 points for the Comets, while K.J. Walton finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, both team-highs, for the Braves.
FINAL Maconaquah 49 Eastern 64 Next: Eastern visits Northwestern Friday; Mac visits Southwood Saturday.