THATCHER — With a packed gymnasium, a loud student section and a late first-half comeback, Thatcher evened up the series with Safford.
Thatcher beat Safford, 55-47, on Friday night.
“After being down early, our coach said we can’t come out thinking that they are a bad team, we need to keep the energy and the enthusiasm up, and once we turned up that enthusiasm up, our hard work kicked in,” said Thatcher’s Tanner Palmer.
It was all Safford for the majority of the first half, going on a 13-5 scoring run and putting the early pressure on Thatcher. Safford’s Isaac Camarena hit two big 3-pointer’s that gave his team a 15-8 lead going into the second quarter.
Camarena finished the game with 15 points.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs still had the edge, but they ended up letting the grip go when the Eagles’ Michael Greer hit a 3 to give the Eagles their first lead of the game with a little over a minute remaining in the half.
Greer finished the game with a team-high 17 points.
The Eagles went on a 6-0 run, giving them a 31-25 lead going into halftime.
Thatcher kept the late first-half momentum going and took advantage of Safford’s missed shots and mental errors, giving Thatcher the psychological edge of the game.
The Eagles’ big man, Spencer Stevens, kept the energy going with his 16 points and eight rebounds, out-working the Bulldogs on the glass and helping the Eagles easily pull away from the visiting Bulldogs.
“After losing the lead, I don’t know what happened; we got tired and didn’t regroup until the third quarter,” said Safford’s Isaac Camarena.
Safford (1-8) will visit Tanque Verde (4-8) on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.
Thatcher (13-5) will visit Pima (9-3) on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.