Over the past several years Dublin and Eagle Hill have faced off a number of times and have developed a healthy rivalry, as both teams are often in contention to win the RVAL Championship each season. Fighting off a hip injury, Senior Captain Wyatt Switzer was sidelined for tonight's game but did a tremendous job helping his team throughout the game. Although the Wildcats are a young team, especially without Switzer, it was clear from the opening jump that this was a intense league game versus a very familiar opponent. Back and forth throughout the first half both teams traded baskets and the lead until the last couple of minutes of the half. Eagle Hill, lead by Schumacher who scored all 13 of his team high points in the first half, pushed his team to a six point lead with just three minute to play in the first. Dublin was lead offensively by Aidan Ansted and Salah Maalim who combined for twenty first half points, including an incredibly poised closing of the half where Salah would hold the ball for the final shot of the half. With just ten seconds to go, Salah was able to beat his defender, draw a double team and kick it to teammate Aidan Ansted for the near buzzer beating three point basket.
Half Time Dublin 25 Eagle Hill 28.
The second half Dublin started to get more comfortable with their team defense, really locking in and focusing on their game plan. Possession by possession, play by play, Dublin felt contributions from each of their players. "Defensively it takes five guys to play as one for our team to be successful," Coach Dicruttalo said after the game. "We have the potential to really form our identity on the defense side of the ball, and every day, every game the boys seem more and more clear of what is expected and what they are capable of." Holding Eagle Hill to just twenty-one second half points Dublin found themselves tied with eight minutes to play. Senior James Wolpe grabbed a handful of rebounds throughout the half, including two offensive rebound put backs giving Dublin their first lead of the second half. As to be expected in a league game, Eagle Hill answered right back with a pair of three point field goals recapturing the lead with just under three minutes to play. Junior Sharp Shooter Derek Elmera knocked down his only three point field goal attempt of the second half moments later cutting the deficit to just one point. Getting back to back stops, Dublin now would have the ball underneath their own basket now tied, with under a minute to play. Senior Captain Kyle Mincey found a gap and made a strong cut to the open spot to receive the inbounds pass and finish a contested layup. Dublin's defense would not allow another basket for the remainder of the game and allowed them to sneak out of Eagle Hill with an exciting two point victory.
Next up for the Wildcats is a Saturday 3pm Game at The Dublin School versus Cardigan Mountain.