Eldorado, the No. 1 seed in their own Holiday Tournament secured a spot in the semifinals with a 70-43 win over Gallatin County Friday night and the Eagles did it without two of their best players.
Braden Attebury, last year's Most Valuable Player of the EHT and SIU football signee Jacob Traxler both sat the second half with foul trouble.
Attebury was whistled for a technical foul in the first half and never returned, while Traxler picked up his fourth foul with 4:39 to play in the second quarter.
Eldorado head coach Josh Bradley called the game "crazy" and expressed a desire to his team to maintain composure when certain situations aren't going your way.
"I thought for the most part the game got away from us early and then we gathered our composure, settled down and were able to separate ourselves from Gallatin. We had to quit worrying about everything else that was going on and just play basketball."
The Eagles (13-0) were bailed out by the play of Ray May and Joe Mayberry. May led all scorers with 22 points, while Mayberry came off the bench and accounted for 20 points.
They were the only two players in double figures for Eldorado.
Gallatin County, who struggled to maintain possession of the basketball in the first half, committed 16 turnovers and were within eight after one quarter as Eldorado held a 21-13 lead. The Hawks got as close as 21-16 before the Eagles opened the flood gates with a 8-0 run to build a 29-16 lead with 4:20 to play and went into the locker room, holding a 34-22 advantage.
Still, Bradley was not pleased with the Eagles' defensive performance.
"Our guys can be happy that they came out of here with the win, but with the defensive effort we had tonight, we allowed too much penetration. If we do that (Saturday) against West Frankfort, we'll lose by 15 points. I know we got 16 turnovers in the first half, but we just allowed too much penetration and against a better team, they will make you pay. When you defense is your teams strong suit, you have to let your guys know that maybe it wasn't good enough and the focus has to be there tomorrow, if you want to win two games and you want to win the championship."
Robbie Prince led Gallatin County in scoring, tossing in 18 points.
Audie Goebel netted nine for the Hawks in the loss, while Aaron Walters finished with five, Garret Rushing had four and Gunner Wilson had three points, while Dawson Hish, Connor Kiescoms had two points.
Kale Oglesby and John Meredith each had a pair of eight-point performances. Aiden Whitlock and Traxler each finished with four points. Attebury tacked on three and Nolan Milligan had a free throw.
Eldorado 70, Gallatin County 43
Eldorado 21 13 18 18 -- 70
Gallatin County 13 09 15 06 --43
Eldorado: Oglesby 4 0-0 8, Meredith 3 0-0 8, May 10 2-4 22, Attebury 1 0-0 3, Traxler 2 0-0 4, Mayberry 9 1-2 20, Milligan 0 1-2 1, Whitlock 2 0-0 4. Totals: 39 6-11 70.
Gallatin County: Hish 1 0-1 2, Prince 3 12-14 18, Wilson 1 0-0 3, Rushing 2 0-2 4, Goebel 4 0-2 9, Walters 2 1-2 5, Kiescoms 0 2-2 2. Totals: 13 15-25 43.
3-point FG: EHS (Attebury, Mayberry), GCHS (Wilson); Fouls: EHS 18, GCHS 13.