By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Simply put, Cliff Little has been there and done that in Class 1A basketball.
Little wants the 2013 Biggersville Lions to experience that as well, but he was not especially happy after an 84-67 victory over the Wheeler Eagles in semifinal action Thursday of the Division 1-1A Tournament.
“I saw a team tonight that thought they only had to show up to win,” said Little, who has guided East Webster to a 1A state title. “We had only one or two show up and play.
“Everybody has got expectations and dreams for us. All of it will be is a dream if we don’t play better.”
Still, the victory by Biggersville (22-6) puts the Lions in the championship game today against Blue Mountain at 8:30 p.m. Biggersville defeated Blue Mountain twice during the regular season.“Blue Mountain is a hungry team,” Little said.
“They’re like a man by a dumpster looking for a crumb.
“I hope we give them some semblance of a game. I’m scared of a team that is hungry.”
Eagles fight back
The Wheeler Eagles appeared to have an appetite as well early, going on a 14-4 run in the first quarter to shave off an 11-point Lions lead. But Daniel Simmons hit a shot from the wing inside the last minute of the period, giving Biggersville a 26-24 lead.
Simmons tallied 18 points in the first half, scoring a basket as part of a 12-2 run that gave the Lions a bit of breathing room on the scoreboard. Darian Barnett bagged two field goals to close that run, and Biggersville went on to lead 44-33 at the half.
A 1A championship game participant a season ago, Biggersville gradually pulled away from the Eagles in the second half.
Jaylon Gaines paced the Lions with 26 points, with Simmons adding 24. Brandon Irby hit 24 for Wheeler, which plays in the consolation game today at 5:30 p.m. against Falkner.