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Shiloh narrowly beats Washburn in regional thriller

2/29/12 (Wed)

By Adam Thomas, BHG News Service

Thursday night at the Hazen High School gym, the Washburn Cardinals Boys Basketball team took the floor against the Shiloh Skyhawks for a championship game that will go into the books as one of the most exciting in Region 5 history. The game couldn’t have been any closer or more exciting than what transpired, but the outcome left something to be desired for followers of the Cardinal program. The Shiloh Skyhawks narrowly retired the season of the Washburn Cardinals as time expired with the score 55-51.In their second region championship appearance in two years, the Cardinal boys’ team was packed with experienced seniors to make another shot at a state tournament berth. Their path to the tournament’s big game was not without its challenges, but the Cardinals rose to the occasion on both Monday and Tuesday. Starting the tournament off against the New Salem-Almont Holsteins, the fourth seed out of District 9, the Cardinals needed a few minutes to get adjusted after the opening tip-off. The Holsteins rattled off the game’s first seven points, but then Washburn’s Evan Eberle took it upon himself to get the offense started for his team: a three-point field goal followed up by a short jumper. Eberle later added two free-throws before the first quarter came to a close having scored seven of the team’s nine points, but Washburn trailed by three. Kirk Sailer and Ryan Kerzman stepped in to provide a second quarter surge that lifted the Cardinals into a nine point lead at halftime 25-17.