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Blazers Battle Central Noble in NECC Tournament Quarterfinals


 The Eastside Blazers (6-6, 1-3) hosted Central Noble (10-2, 3-1) on Wednesday night for the quarterfinals of the Northeast Corner Conference Tournament as part of a girl/guy double header. The girls varsity team won a nail-bitter of a game 50-48 against the Cougars, while the boys battled from start to finish but came up just short 32-45. 

Central Noble came out strong early jumping out to a 13-2 lead with 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter, but the Blazers fought back and finished out the quarter down just seven with the score 6-13. The second quarter was back in forth throughout but the Cougars did push the Blazers deficit to 10 points at 13-23. Connor Abplanalp continued his dominance inside the paint, after scoring 21 points the previous night, he added 7 more points in the first half. 

The second half continued to be a battle back and forth as Eastside won the quarter 10-9 behind 6 points from Clay Minnick. Eastside cut the lead to 5 points with just over 4 minutes left but came up short eventually falling 32-45 after the Cougars were able to knock down some crucial free throws. Minnick led the Blazers with 12 points, while Ryder Reed and Abplanalp finished with 7 points each. Eastside did shoot 5 of 6 from the free throw line.

Next up for Eastside is a junior varsity tournament at Fremont High on Saturday morning starting at 9:00am when they take on Garrett. The other two competing schools are Fremont and Hamilton who also play at 9:00am. The winning teams will play each other and the two losing teams will play each other at 10:45am. The varsity team does not play again till Friday January 19th which will be against Central Noble in a triple header with the JV boys playing at 5:00pm in the Thunderdome while the girls JV plays on Gerb Court. The varsity girls will play at 6:30pm and the varsity boys will follow at 8:00pm.

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