Eagles learn ropes on court
PABLO – Though off to a rocky start, the young Eagles are opening their wings and working hard to achieve greatness. With key varsity players not eligible to play until after the winter break, a mostly JV team has taken to the court in the season’s openers, gaining experience and composure under sixth year head coach Clay Malatare.
“They’re young and still learning,” Malatare said. “But we’re doing fine.”
Thursday brought Noxon to Two Eagle’s house and though Noxon wiped their feet at the door, they left the Eagles with a 65-86 loss but not without Eagle senior Jaylen Ducharme putting 20 points in the parting gift basket. Byron Carpenter and Eugene Parker also chipped in 11 points apiece.
The Eagles are trying to fill a big role with the loss of Two Eagle alum and coach Malatare’s son, Clay Malatare, who’s been missing on the court.
“It’s been weird for them not to see him on the court,” Coach Malatare said. “They leaned on him and it’s time to get over it.”
The Eagles are answering back with the growth of new leaders and Malatare is nothing but impressed with the progress coming from seniors Byron Carpentier and DaShane Hewankorn.
“They are helping out like extra coaches on the floor,” he said. “Byron has turned over 100 percent since last year. He’s stepping up the positive and helps the other kids. DaShane keeps heads up and plays hard.”
Malatare is also excited about the Lady Eagles program gaining a fan base and bringing positivity amongst the Eagles.
He noted that the enthusiasm has spread into the boys program as well.
On Friday the Eagles traveled to Hot Springs and with a winter virus hitting the Eagles bench, they faced a hard hit loss scoring just 35 to Hot Springs’ 76. In spite of achy bodies, Eugene Parker hooped up 16 points for his team.
“They didn’t feel great,” Malatare said. “I didn’t want to push them too much.”
With a large part of the season yet to come, Coach Malatare remains optimistic.
“We hope to change the view of Two Eagle River. Our program’s getting better and we hope to show a good finish at districts,” he said.
He also emphasizes the role of fan support.
“If fans aren’t showing good sportsmanship it shows the kids that they don’t have to (either),” he said. “(But) we’re working on that. I’m proud of them.”
The Eagles will host Charlo on Jan. 2, Victor on Jan. 4, and St. Regis on Jan. 7.
Two Eagle River 14 9 21 21 – 65
Noxon 23 19 15 29 – 86
Jaylen Ducharme 20, Byron Carpenter 11, Eugene Parker 11, Geno Lyra 10, Donte McDougall 5, Quincy Bourdon-Courville 4, Robert Janson 3, Junior Hendrickx 1.
Two Eagle River 17 8 5 5 – 35
Hot Springs 24 25 23 4 – 76
Eugene Parker 16, Byron Carpentier 7, Jaylen Ducharme 5, Robert Janson 5, Junior Hendrickx 2.