Senior sharpshooter Ethan Streicher scored 20 points, Parker Rochford 18, and Riley Ashline 17, as Edgewood-Colesburg overcame a shaky first half to grab a 68-56 win over East Buchanan, in Edgewood, Dec. 14. With the win, Ed-Co improved to 5-3 on the season, while the Bucs fell to 2-4.

Trailing an improved East Buchanan team, 39-37 early in the third quarter, the Vikings went on a 15-0 run to take control of a contest that saw the lead balloon to 23 points, 68-45, with four minutes remaining.

That 15-point run — with Rochford and Streicher doing all of the scoring — was part of a 25-9 third-quarter explosion by the Vikings, who held a slim 35-34 lead at the break.

Ed-Co played its trademark up-tempo game the first 16 minutes, with Streicher hitting a trio of three-pointers and Spencer Staner hitting one, but East Buchanan freshman Kaiden Gage put on a show with 14 first-half points as the Bucs kept things interesting.

“This game was exciting as both teams were exchanging baskets throughout the first half,” said Ed-Co coach Justin Olind. “The guys were playing with great energy. East Buchanan came out playing really well and did a nice job of pushing it at us to keep it close.”

In a game that was truly a tale of two halves, the battle-tested Vikings found the right combination after the break.

“We made some adjustments at halftime, and the guys took it upon themselves to turn up the defense — working hard to not allow EB anything easy,” said Olind. “That tough defensive effort led to some easy hoops that allowed us to pull away in the second half.”

“I was really happy to see our best defensive effort of the year,” added Olind. “It showed growth and determination that will be key as we continue to improve.”

Ed-Co leaders were: scoring — Streicher 20, Rochford 18, Ashline 17, Staner nine, Keegan Hansel four; assists — Rochford seven, Streicher three, Hansel two, Staner one; rebounds — Hansel 10, Ashline eight, Streicher and Rochford three, Staner two, Jared Childers and Brayden Stannard one; steals — Rochford seven, Streicher and Stannard two, Jack Wiskus, Tony Wright, Hansel, Staner and Ashline one; blocks Streicher and Rochford one.

On Dec. 11, at Springville, Ed-Co squandered a 27-11 first-quarter lead, and dropped a 73-68 decision to the Orioles.

“We came out really strong on both ends of the floor. The guys were really clicking on offense and taking care of the defensive end,” said Olind. “We couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

But, in a second quarter similar to that of an early season loss to Calamus-Wheatland, the Orioles outscored the Vikings 20-4 to draw even at 31-31 at the half.

“As the game went on, we seemed to lose some of our edge defensively and started giving up open looks and didn’t stop Springville’s dribble drive,” Olind said. “We were missing shots and shooting it early which allowed them to get back in a rhythm and get themselves back in the game.”

“The game went back and forth throughout the second half. Springville hit some big shots that we didn’t answer and shot great from the free throw line to put it away,” he added. “We just didn’t lock down on the defensive end and Springville earned the win.”

Ed-Co leaders were: scoring — Rochford 20, Streicher 18, Ashline 13, Staner nine, Hansel five, Stannard two, Wiskus one; assists — Staner five, Rochford four, Ashline two, Streicher and Wiskus one; rebounds — Ashline 13, Streicher nine, Rochford six, Staner three, Wiskus, Wright, Hansel and Stannard one; steals — Streicher and Rochford two, Ashline one; blocks — Rochford two.