Despite being short-handed, the Shelbyville Central Golden Eagles gave visiting Nolensville everything it wanted and then some.
But after battling closely for three quarters, the Knights eventually wore down the Eagles and escaped Shelbyville with a 61-50 win over the Eagles.
“I just think basketball is a game of runs. The first thing is, I’m super proud of my kids. They gave me everything they had. I think we got kind of winded at the end. I probably should have used timeouts a little differently in the end and that’s on me,” first-year Eagle coach Kody Howard said.
For three quarters, the Eagles relied on a balanced attack from its lineup and after 24 minutes of game time, the Eagles sat deadlocked with the Knights at 42.
But a 19-8 run through the fourth quarter allowed Nolensville to escape Rick Insell Gymnasium with an 11-point victory.
In total, Shelbyville placed just five players in the scoring column, compared to Nolensville’s nine.
Even nearly doubling the total scorers, Shelbyville didn’t back off an inch and was led by Devyn Heath’s 18 points.
Heath did the bulk of his damage in the first half, accounting for 10 of the Eagles’ 28 points.
Shelbyville continued to battle Nolensville into the third as the Eagles managed to outscore the Knights, 14-12, in the third period.
Tim Parsons and Zay Reese each banked four points in the quarter while Joe Harris cashed in on a pair of his team-high four 3-pointers.
Nolensville one-upped the Eagles with a 19-point effort in the fourth frame and took advantage of a 5-of-9 effort at the free throw line.
Nolensville’s Tate Robinson also banked a pair of 3-pointers in the period as well.
Having been held in check in the third, Heath was the sole source of offense for Shelbyville in the fourth quarter, accounting for all eight of the Eagles’ points.
While the game went down as a loss, Howard said he couldn’t be more proud of his team, even missing a few key pieces on the floor.
“For internal reasons, we didn’t have our full roster out there tonight. That’s why I’m even more proud of the guys. The guys we had tonight battled. A couple of those wide open threes in the fourth, I think it’s a different ball game,” Howard said.
The Eagles were originally scheduled to face Forrest on Friday, however the Rockets will be hosting a quarterfinal Class 2A state playoff game.
Due to that conflict, the game against Shelbyville has been canceled.
The Eagles will return to action, looking for their first win of the season on Tuesday at Smyrna.
Nolensville 18 12 12 19 — 61
Shelbyville Central 18 10 14 8 — 50
Nolensville: Jaden Clark 12, Charles Winfrey 12, Carter Hemeager 11, Tate Robinson 9, Ethan Bennett 8, Lucas Pring 5, Jayvn Smith 2, Wyatt Lusty, Kam Mull.
Shelbyville Central: Devyn Heath 18, Zay Reese 14, Joe Harris 12, Tim Parsons 6, Kyler Trice 2.
3-Point goals: Shelbyville Central (6): Harris 4, Reese, Heath; Nolensville (8): Winfrey 3, Robinson 3, Hemeager, Clark.
Halftime score: Nolensville 30, Shelbyville Central 28.