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BETHALTO – The Civic Memorial Eagles snapped a 10-game losing streak to their Mississippi Valley Conference rivals Jerseyville Friday night.

CM won by a score of 54-39. It was their first win over the Panthers since Feb. 2, 2019.

“It’s nuts,” CM head coach Lee Green said after the win. “That was I think my fifth game [against Jersey]. We lost to them by seven at their place earlier this year, and then we were 0-3 against them last year by I think a combined 11 points, so every game has been right there.”

Last year Jersey won by scores of 61-56, 39-38, and 55-53. A margin of eight points between the three games.

The Panthers won in Jerseyville by a score of 42-35 earlier this season on Dec. 1

Jersey head coach Matt Murphy believes those results got to his team’s head.

“I think we came out a little complacent,” he said. “The guys, in my mind, had a sense of false confidence coming into today because of the result earlier in the year. I think we just came out flat and never really got anything going. When you turn it over 30 times, it’s going to be hard to win a basketball game.”

It was the Eagles’ first MVC win of the year, as they improved to 1-5 in the conference and 6-12 on the season.

Green was happy to see his team put the game away in the second half.

“We’ve had a hard time finishing,” he said. “We’re 1-5 in the conference and four of those six games we were winning going into the fourth quarter. So, we’ve just had a hard time finishing, but these kids were not losing tonight.”

As Green alludes to, in the meeting between the two earlier this season, the Eagles led 34-32 going into the fourth quarter. CM would go on to only score a single point in the fourth and eventually lose 42-35.

Friday night was different.

The first quarter and beginning of the second were close, but the Eagles were able to gain some ground heading into the locker room.

After Jersey’s Hunter Herkert opened the game with a three-pointer, CM’s August Frankfort would score the game’s next eight points to give the Eagles an 8-3 lead.

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Jersey responded with a six-point run as Francis Voegel scored back-to-back baskets to go back ahead 9-8. Riley Lamb’s basket took the lead back at 10-9 for CM as they led 12-11 after the first quarter.

Abe Kribs drilled a three for the Panthers as they took the lead back at 14-12 to open the second. But Parker Parnell’s basket and Adam Ogden’s traditional three-point play pulled CM ahead 17-14. From there, the Eagles wouldn’t give up that lead.

Ogden’s and-one basket sparked a nine-point run to jump to a 23-14 lead. CM went into halftime up 29-19.

The Panthers were only able to close the gap to 10 points after back-to-back threes from Jaxon Brunaugh, but CM remained in control the rest of the way. Leading 41-27 after three quarters, it would had to have been one heck of a comeback from the Panthers.

Instead, CM opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run, never giving Jersey a chance to get back in it.

Coach Murphy says his team just simply got outworked.

“100 percent, you could tell,” he said. “They beat us to every loose ball; they had 19 offensive rebounds. Those are effort plays and whenever you’re similarly talented like we are with CM, that’s what happens. You get a butt-kicking whenever they play harder than you and that’s what happened tonight.”

With the result, the Panthers fall to 8-12 on the season and 1-5 in the MVC.

Brunaugh was their leading scorer with 19 points.

CM had four double-digit scorers to the pleasure of coach Green.

“We can’t rely on just one person,” he said. “When we have other kids scoring, we’re tough to beat. We’ve been preaching to them that they can score. We got great support tonight off the bench from [Riley] Lamb and [Parker] Parnell. So, you get that kind of point production coming off the bench, you’re going to be hard to beat.”

Frankfort and Ogden each scored 10 points. From the bench, Parnell scored 11 and Lamb had 10.

Both teams will go their separate ways next week and partake in their respective mid-season tournaments.

The Panthers will host a tournament with the likes of Southwestern Conference powers Edwardsville, Alton, and Granite City. They open up against the Tigers on Monday, Jan. 15, and then play Cahokia on Wednesday.

CM travels to Litchfield where they’ll play Hillsboro on Monday and then the host Purple Panthers on Tuesday.

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