The Eagles overcame some sloppy play early on to defeat visiting Victory Christian 55-45 Jan. 4.
OCOEE After a strong showing over the holiday break in tournaments in Pennsylvania and South Florida, the CFCA Eagles may well have been due for a letdown game — and against a scrappy, well-coached Victory Christian team Thursday night, they nearly had one.
With the Eagles trailed Victory Christian 26-23 at half, senior guard Dante Treacy delivered a message to his teammates that fired them up, and CFCA (10-2) played well enough the rest of the way to earn a 55-45 win in its district opener.
"I think we just stepped up," Treacy said. "In the locker room, coming out of the half, I talked to (the team) a little bit and told them to 'man up.' I think we came out and they took it the right way — we showed that in the second half."
Treacy, himself, had an uncharacteristic night shooting the basketball — the Army signee scored just 9 points, while averaging nearly double that (16.5 ppg) — but found other ways to impact the game on both ends. Meanwhile, Jordan Preaster led all scorers with 18 points and Bryce Street chipped in 14 points — including a pair of critical 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
"We forced the ball a lot in the first half — we tried to jam it into places that it didn't belong," McClintock said. "What's good is that Victory Christian is easily good enough to beat you ... they're a well-coached, good group and they could have beat us. When it was all said and done, the boys grinded one out."
Victory Christian fell to 5-7 with the defeat. Jackson Fitzgerald had 12 points to lead the Storm, while James Harrison added 11 points on the night.