Eagles, Lady Eagles cap inaugural Vienna Shootout with sweep of Climax Springs

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 11/23/22

Well worth the wait.

That is what Vienna Lady Eagle and Eagle basketball were thinking Saturday night capping off the inaugural Vienna Eagles Shootout at Vienna High School.

After five games …

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Eagles, Lady Eagles cap inaugural Vienna Shootout with sweep of Climax Springs

Posted

Well worth the wait.

That is what Vienna Lady Eagle and Eagle basketball were thinking Saturday night capping off the inaugural Vienna Eagles Shootout at Vienna High School.

After five games featuring teams from throughout the state, Kevin Schwartze’s Vienna Lady Eagles hosted Climax Springs’ Lady Cougar in the next-to-last game of the day.

Leading 15-8 after one quarter, Brooke Mercer scored six points as part of a 10-0 Vienna run in the second quarter helping the Lady Eagles pull away from Climax Springs by a final score of 53-31.

“Our girls played really well and I’m pleased with how we kept attacking the basket,” Schwartze said.

Grabbing an early 4-0 lead on buckets from Jaedyn Schell and Aubrey Schwartze, Vienna then dialed long distance on consecutive 3-pointers from Brooke Mercer and Madison Weeks pushing the Lady Eagle lead out to 10-4 at the 4:02 mark of the opening quarter.

Nursing a 15-10 lead with 7:35 until halftime, Mercer took over for Vienna scoring six of the next 10 points for the Lady Eagles before a pair of Schwartze free throws put VHS in front 25-10 with 3:43 for the second quarter.

 Schell’s third bucket of first half gave Vienna their 27-12 halftime lead.

Mercer paced the Lady Eagle offense with 12 first-half points while Daphne Butterfield led Climax Springs with six first-half points.

Up 35-22 with 2:21 left in the third quarter, Schwartze scored the last six points of the third quarter helping Vienna to a 41-22 lead with eight minutes of basketball to be played.

Leading 41-24 with 6:55 remaining, the Lady Eagles put together an 8-0 run started by a Weeks bucket and capped by a Mercer bucket to put the game out of reach.

Making her varsity debut, Schwartze just missed opening her freshman season with a double double finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Doing most of her damage in the first half, Mercer also flirted with a double double ending up with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Jaedyn Schell also just missed a double double putting up eight points and eight rebounds.

Marissa Hollis added seven points followed by a Juliana Davis 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining.

Aubrey Reeves and Weeks added two points each to round out the Lady Eagle scoring.

Daphne Battlefield led Climax Springs with 11 points.

Eagles vs. Climax Springs

Capping nearly 11 hours of basketball were Chandler Harker’s Vienna Eagles and the Climax Springs Cougars.

Posting a 48-41 victory the night before at Richland, Vienna was looking for a 2-0 start to the season.

Ahead by double digits the majority of the game, Climax Springs cut the lead to 47-45 with 19.0 ticks left.

Eagle junior guard Cash Stricklan then calmly sank two free throws with 14.9 remaining helping Vienna hold off the visiting Cougars 49-45.

“It was not pretty, but it was another win,” Harker said. “We only led by two entering the fourth quarter at Richland the night before and we nearly let a double-digit lead disappear tonight.”

Nursing a 7-5 lead at the 4:05 mark of the opening quarter, Stricklan started an 11-0 run capped by a pair of Sam Rowden free throws helping the Eagles to an 18-5 lead over Climax Springs after one quarter.

Foul trouble plagued Vienna in the second quarter seeing both Duncan Wilkinson and Stricklan collect their third fouls.

It was looking like the Eagles would go into halftime with a double-digit lead before Climax Springs’ Josh Griffith hit a half-court buzzer beater leaving Vienna with a 24-15 halftime lead.

Stricklan (4) and Elias Miller (2) combined for a 6-0 run midway through the third quarter helping the Eagles take a 38-26 lead into the final eight minutes.

Missing five straight free throws over a span of 24 seconds nearly allowed the Cougars to steal a win from Vienna on their home floor.

In spite of being outscored 19-11 in the fourth quarter, the Eagles held on for their second close win in as many nights.

Able to overcome foul trouble, Stricklan led the Eagles with 18 points and five rebounds.

Mercer added 10 points while Miller chipped in seven points.

Rowden finished with six points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Griffith led Climax Springs with 14 points and nine rebounds in addition to a double double of 10 points and 10 rebounds from Johny McCartney.

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