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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Eminence Red Wings improved to 2-1 this season and continue to show they are a contender in Missouri Class 1 through the early stages of the season as they ran away with a 82-68 win over Clever at Saturday’s Ozark Mountain Shootout in Springfield.
Eminence got 32 points and 20 rebounds from 6’7 2019 forward Trent McBride, who went for 25 and 13 in the second half as the Red Wings pulled away late.
“Today was a good win for us, Clever is a good team and they shoot the ball very well and come back on you really quick,” Eminence head coach Pete McBride said. “Our biggest challenge was directing which way their guards went so it would be difficult for them to find their shooters. They hit a lot of threes, but we contested a lot of them too.”
Eminence ran the battle on the boards in overwhelming fashion, 35-13 including a host of offensive boards by Ethan Drake, Grant Dyer, McBride and others.
“One of our biggest strengths is rebounding, and is has to be,” Pete McBride said. “We have some other deficiencies, and we have to make them up with great effort on the back board. That’s something we work on, and our guys know we have to do well at that part of the game.”
“I like to think that we are a tough and physical team. Traditionally we handle the ball better than we have been, and I hope we will get there –– that place that we need to be to play our best basketball. I like to think people consider our team to be smart in situational basketball. Unfortunately, we haven’t been doing that good of a job at that either.”
The Red Wings are led by McBride, who is a skilled forward with long arms and an all-around game. He can score on the block, face up on the perimeter, drive to the bucket as well and shoot from the 3-point line. In addition to his 32 points game on Saturday, he has also posted games of 27 and 23 points this season.
“He’s kind of been our leader, and he has to score for us,” Pete McBride said. “He shoots a high percentage from the field and we have to get him shots and he has to work hard on the glass so he can get extra points.”
The Red Wings are also counting heavily this season on Grant Dyer and Ethan Drake, two players who have been a big part of the Red Wings’ varsity in the past as well.
A 6’3 2019 forward, Dyer was an all-district player last year, while Drake is a 6’1 2018 guard who can shoot from the outside and handle the ball.
Also in the mix are senior Kyndall Copeland, junior Wade Dyer among others.
“We know we have things that we have to work on … things we’ve talked about,” McBride said. “We have the holiday tournament and a lot of other great teams on the rest of our schedule. Thayer, Dora and other strong teams that will demand a lot from us. It’s a tough schedule ahead of us, and we have to be ready.”