Eagles in the ‘Hunt’ with another tall task in playoffs

Play of junior Nathan Hunt has provided last-season spark after challenging regular season


Gazebo Photo by courtesy of Stratford Sports Information

Junior Nathan Hunt has emerged as a key player for the Eagles late in the season.

After a trying regular season spent trying to break out of the shadow of graduated seniors and overcoming transfers out of school, the boys varsity basketball team finally caught a huge break this past weekend.

In the first round of the Class A Private School state playoffs, the Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak and pulled off a stunning upset against 18-6 Darlington High School. Stratford entered the game seeded No. 20, and Darlington was No. 13.

The game was close throughout, and ended with Darlington missing two shots at the buzzer, as the Eagles claimed a 68-67 victory.

“It was a fun game. I was very excited after we won in overtime. We were just celebrating in the locker room and having a good time,” said junior Nathan Hunt, who scored 26 points and had 11 rebounds.

Hunt has emerged as a key player for the Eagles over the last half of the season.

“Nathan has been great for us,” said Stratford head coach Sean Sweeney. “They had a big guy inside, and some would say he played great on offense, and I knew he played well on offense, I just didn’t know how well. But I knew he shut down their best player and that was huge.”

Hunt has also had to fill in the front court role of senior Nate Brooks, who transferred to a school in Michigan in January to be closer to his family.

So the Eagles have made the switch from Nate to Nathan.

“He stepped in and filled a void for us that we needed inside,” said Sweeney. “Nathan has been great. He hasn’t struggled at all.”

The Eagles will  face Aquinas in Augusta tonight at 6:30 in Augusta. The Fighting Irish are seeded No. 4 and have a 25-1 record.