BERNHEIM - The Eastside Eagles took a little time to get into high gear, but once they did, coach Kevin Ezell's team roared past the Bernheim Bruins in the championship game of the Bullitt County Middle School 'B' Division Tournament on Thursday.
The boys' annual tournament, which was moved back a month under the direction of the Bullitt County Board of Education, was once again sponsored by Schmid Funeral Home as well as the Awards Center and The Pioneer News.
Eastside trailed 12-6 and it was 12-8 after the first quarter before the Eagles found their wings. Scoring eight of the first nine points of the second frame, Eastside moved ahead for got, leading 16-15 at halftime.
The second half continued to go the Eagles' way as they held the Bruins to four points in the third quarter as they moved out to a safe 27-19 advantage with a quarter to play.
"It was a very slow start tonight and that's not normal for us," Ezell said after the game. "We told them to keep fighting and they did. It's always tough playing Bernheim on their home floor."
The win was the 30th this season for Eastside against only five losses. The Eagles were 12-0 against their Bullitt County rivals.
Bereheim came into the Middle School Tournament as the number two seed, but after scoring 12 points in the first quarter, it took two and a half quarters for the team to equal that output.
"We came out and had trouble with their press," Bernheim head coach Jordan Hoagland said. "That frustrated us. That got the speed of the game up. Then they made more shots."
Eastside relied on their guard combination of Sean Johnson and Luke Ezell who scored 13 and 12 points respectively.
Tanner Hazlett led all scorers in the game with 14 for Bernheim which finished the season 11-6 overall.
Boys' Bullitt County Middle School Tourney 'B' Division Final At Bernheim MS
EASTSIDE 38 (8-8-11-11) Luke Ezell 12, Jackson Gasser 3, Tyler Harris 5, Sean Johnson 13, Zach Thomas 5, Chandler Youngs, Caden Dowell, Trent Bentley and Kevin Page.
BERNHEIM 28 (12-3-4-9) Noah Shepherd 6, Tanner Hazlett 14, Mason Shifflett 3, Clay Phillips 1, Austin Lewis 2, Austin Terry 2, Bradley McCubbins, Marc Gartner, Laren Ocasio, Seth Mitchell, Sam Mitchell and Daylen Huff.