Eastfield fights to make it to nationals



Tylan Harris looks to pass the ball to a teammate as Richland’s Taven Washington defends.

ANTHONY ROSADO, Contributor @TheEtCetera

The Eastfield basketball team has experienced some setbacks since they came back from the holiday break, losing four players and dropping three straight conference games.

However, coach Dexter Young believes the Harvester Bees (17-6) can still make it to the national tournament.

“If we start clicking, we can go to the national championship,” Young said. “I don’t care how many games we’ve lost. We have enough athletes, enough talent, to do that.”

With three games left in the regular season, Eastfield is 3-3 in conference play, beating Cedar Valley 110-85, Mountain View 125-115 and Cedar Valley again 108-89, while losing to Brookhaven 86-85, North Lake 77-69 and Richland 109-105.

“It’s basically all on us. If we play how we play, we’re unstoppable,” freshman guard Jakeiven Sanders said. “But if we play down to our competition, or try to play with our competition, it’s not gonna go so well.”

For most of this season Eastfield has  been scoring more than 100 points per game, but in two of their conference losses, they only scored 85 and 69 points. Young said he wants his team to play more aggressive and pick up the pace.

“We’re not going to pass the ball more than three times before a shot,”he said. “We want to shoot the ball and go real fast.”

Eastfield uses a balanced offense, with six players averaging double figures in scoring.

We don’t have one guy.

— Head coach Dexter Young

“We don’t have one guy,” Young said. “I want everybody on the team to take 10 or more shots. That means you’re taking 100 (shots). At one time, we were averaging 96 shots.”

Despite the recent offensive struggles, Eastfield still leads the nation in points per game (114.5), field goals made per game (42), field goal attempts per game (88.6), three-pointers made per game (13.3), three-point attempts per game (37.4) and steals per game (25). They are also second in free throws made per game (17.3) and assists per game (26.1).

“The three back-to-back to back games we lost, it was because we played at their pace,” Sanders said. “We slowed down, walked the ball down slow, trying to set it up. And we can’t do that.”

The Harvester Bees have an important week ahead, facing Brookhaven, Richland and defending national champion North Lake to end the regular season.

If their offense can push the pace like Young wants, he believes they can make to nationals.

“I feel good about the team,” Young said.

“We’re young. I’m just waiting for that switch to hit. We can win it all, without a doubt. We can beat anyone and beat them bad.”