Eagles Soared Past Hawks 73-57 on Friday Night at the Sports Center
In a battle of birds-themed-mascots, the Pensacola Christian College Eagles men’s basketball team defeated the Huntingdon Christian College Hawks 75-57 a week ago Friday evening at the PCC Sports Center arena. The Eagles, though eventually victorious by an 18-point margin, did not start the game off smoothly.
The Hawks scored first on their way to an early 9-3 lead, but the Eagles soared back and after Mike Goetsch (a 6’-6” junior post) sunk a three-pointer, the team quickly pulled ahead, 14-11. Pensacola's lead, which was built ten minutes into the game, would not relinquish; Huntingdon never regained the momentum throughout the rest of the game.
The Eagles, led by starters Tyler Scott (a 6’-3” junior wing), David Cratty (a 5’-11” senior point guard), Jon Andrews (a 6’-9” junior post), Steven Guinchard (a 6’-5” freshman wing) and Goetsch—the son of head coach Mark Goetsch, who has led the team with 301 points this season—easily cruised to a victory over the Hawks. The Eagles played a more fundamentally sound game, posting better percentages in field goals (42.9% to Huntingdon’s 36.9%), three-point field goals (30% to 15%), and free throws (63.3% to 60%).
As the first half wound down to 2:00 remaining, the Hawks did come back to tie the game at 25-25. But after Guninchard hit a pair of shots from outside the paint, helping extend the Eagles’ lead to 32-27, Pensacola went into the locker room with a five-point lead.
In the second half, the Hawks scored first. From then on, it was all Eagles.
The Hawks were outscored 41-30 in the second half, as Guninchard wowed the crowd with a hot streak by sinking three consecutive three-pointers and following it up with a field goal, scoring 11 points in a mere three minutes. Now with a 59-45 lead with 8:24 to go, Pensacola seemingly had the game in hand.
During an Eagles timeout, the tumblers—acrobatic performers who entertain the fans in attendance with flips and jumps during game breaks—drew cheers from the crowd as PCC’s Eagle mascot, Eagor, whiffed on an attempted free throw (a comical air ball that Eagor certainly was not hoping to suffer). After the courteous referee retrieved the ball from Eagor and placed the ball back in play, the Eagles went on to wrap up the “W.”
The Eagles held a 71-55 lead with 2:40 left in the game. The visiting Hawks were unable to match-up with the Eagles on Friday evening.
One of the more memorable moments of the night occurred after the final horn had blown. Players from both teams met at mid-court to pray together—a reminder that sports, although a positive aspect of PCC college life, are not the main focus. The focus here is on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and rightfully so. It was encouraging to see the athletes make time for God, in a world where He is often pushed aside.
On the night, Goetsch led the team with 23 points, followed by Guinchard’s 17, Andrews’s 12 and Pahlsson’s 11 as the Eagles held on to win, 73-57 after trailing early on in the contest. The Eagles went on to defeat Trinity Baptist College the next day, 71-64, making them 12-12 on the season. They will host Clearwater Christian College on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., seeking their third consecutive victory.0