There’s no place like home for the playoffs

The men’s basketball team is in the MAC Freedom Conference playoffs for the second consecutive year.

With the regular season completed, the Eagles now have a daunting task ahead of them as they face Misericordia on Feb. 24 in semifinal action.

Misericordia defeated Eastern 61-44 two weeks ago, but this time the match is on the Eagles’ home court.

The team has not lost a home conference game all season, completing its perfect conference home record with a win over Delaware Valley on Feb. 20, which also secured home court advantage for the semifinal game.

“Hosting a home game is exactly what we wanted,” sophomore guard Martin Soaries said.  “It is huge being in front of your home crowd. It is good to know all the work we put in paid off.”

Lately, the team has been working hard, as Eastern has gone 6-4 in its last 10 games.
“We are locked in and focused on what we want,” Soaries said. “Our leaders on our team have stepped up. We brought it together because we’ve been through so much together. We just want to go out and get wins.”

First-year starters Kyle Malloy and Alex Nelson’s athleticism have created match up problems for the Eagles’ opponents.

On the wing, Soaries and junior Derek Wright are called on to provide veteran leadership.
The general of the offense, senior point guard Chris Myers, is the only four-year member on the team and is responsible for fueling the offense.

“It is hard for a team to match up with us all around,” Soaries said. “I don’t think any team has the depth that we do. I think, overall, we have the best team out of the four teams that are left.”

The team’s bench has been progressing, which makes the Eagles a tougher opponent. Misericordia will have to bring its best game to the gym.

“We are excited for this match-up,” Myers said. “We look forward to taking care of business. You have to do your thing. You have some butterflies before the game, but once the ball is tipped off we will be ready.”

The question for Eastern fans is: are you ready?