CM junior Avery Huddleston runs past a couple of East St. Louis defenders Monday night in the Eagles’ home opener. (Photos by Brad Piros)

BETHALTO – The last four games between Civic Memorial and East St. Louis have been decided by seven points or less, with the Eagles on the right side of all four of those.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Monday night, in the Eagles’ home opener, it was not a close game. CM won by 50 points by a score of 74-24 to remain undefeated on the season and improve to 8-0.

It was CM’s second-largest margin of victory this season. The Eagles beat Jacksonville by 55 points 66-11 at the Taylorville Tournament. It was the fifth time CM held its opposition to 30 points or less this year.

Monday was another hot night from behind the three-point line for the Eagles. They made nine threes on the night. Marlee Durbin, Marley Ogden, and Reegan Twente each knocked down a couple of threes while Avari Combes, Addison Jeffery, and Gracie Miller each put down one.

After East St. Louis cut it to within two points at 11-9, the Eagles went on a 19-point run to close out the first and open up the second to grow their lead to 30-9. The Flyers finally sank a three to stop the run.

CM led 43-16 at the half and 59-24 after three, never in any danger after the opening frame.

“We shot it well,” CM head coach Mike Arbuthnot said. “I thought we came out in the first quarter and set a tone for how fast we wanted to play. Had to make some defensive adjustments, and had to stop their transition, but the kids really adjusted to what we were doing defensively. Especially in that second half.”

The Flyers scored just eight points in the second half, all of them in the third quarter.

“We really didn’t get outside our man [defense] too much,” Arbuthnot said, “because I was worried about their size and their isolation inside, but I thought our guards did a great job with their perimeter pressure. We created a lot of tips and turnovers that way.”

Article continues after sponsor message

Turnovers led to easy baskets for CM who has now scored 70-plus points in back-to-back games. The Eagles beat Jerseyville 75-52 last Friday.

Four Eagles scored in double figures on Monday.

Durbin and Twente each scored 12 points while Avery Huddleston and Ogden each scored 11. Combes scored nine points, Belle Edwards had six, and Allie Truetzschler had four. Miller and Jeffery each finished with three points, Julia Goodman scored two points, and Meredith Brueckner scored a single point.

Right now, CM’s offense is coming from everywhere.

“One thing that we do really well is play together,” Arbuthnot said. “We’ve got some depth, and we share the ball pretty much equally.”

After finally playing their home opener seven games into the season, the Eagles will be back on the road for another three straight games. Meaning, only one of their first 11 games will be played in Bethalto.

“We knew going in that it was going to be that way,” Arbuthnot said. “So, I kind of prepared them for that. But we were fired up tonight to play a home game.”

The Eagles opened the season with a five-game tournament, all the games being played at Taylorville High School. Then they opened the Mississippi Valley Conference on the road at Mascoutah and Jerseyville.

Now they’ve got Triad, Roxana, and Waterloo on the road before being back home again on Tuesday, Dec. 19 against Highland.

More like this:

Feb 5, 2024 - Lady Eagles Fall Short Against Carlyle At EAWR State Farm Shootout

Jan 27, 2024 - CM Girls Roll Past Triad In Front Of Packed House

Jan 18, 2024 - Eagles Look To Finish Highland Tourney Strong With Consolation Title

Jan 9, 2024 - CM's Defense Wins Battle Between Two State-Ranked Teams

Jan 13, 2024 - Lady Eagles Pick Up Conference Win Over Jersey Before First-Round Loss To Okawville In Highland Tourney