WOODBURN — Churubusco’s boys basketball team made history Saturday night, defeating Eastside 65-56 in the sectional championship. The victory marks the Eagle’s first title in school history.
Churubusco (17-8) started the game hot with an 8-2 lead. That was short lived as Eastside (19-5) led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter. Senior Jalen Paul’s bucket with 1:36 left in the first half gave the Eagles lead again at 27-26 at half.
“We never won a sectional before,” said head coach Chris Paul. “That put a lot of pressure on them. Eastside came out ready to play. Our guys really bought in and never doubted.”
The Eagles’ most productive moments in the game fell in the third quarter. The Eagles went on an 11-point run, which included three from beyond the arch. Churubusco led the Blazers 45-35. It was then when the Churubusco’s fans believed they would witness Churubusco’s first sectional championship crown.
The Eagles led as much as 14 points in the fourth quarter, and the Blazers could not come back from such a deficit. Churubusco’s players jumped and embraced each other as the final buzzer sounded.
“We have people crying. I have people I’ve never met coming to me saying that it means so much to them and the town,” said Paul. “A lot of people in this gym will remember this for a long time. I’m just proud to be part of it.”
Churubusco took the win without the Eagles’ main scorers putting up many points. Thankfully for Churubusco, Senior Luke Foote caught the hot hand. Foote, who averaged less the 10 points a game, ended up leading the team with 26 points after starting the game on fire from 3-point land.
“Eastside put so much attention on guarding our other guys,” said Foote. “So I was left open a lot and I personally felt disrespected. I took it personally, and it was my time to step it up.”
Senior Colin Mullins has averaged less than one point a game, but added 16 points for the Eagles in the title game.
“I’ve got to give the credit to my teammates. They were often trapped and found a way to give me the ball,” said Mullins.
Eastside was led by Senior Jacob Thompson who scored 28 points.
Churubusco will play in its first regional in school history next Saturday at 10 a.m. against Marquette Catholic (16-9) in North Judson.