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Axtell boys flying high but expectations still set on the upcoming games.

It's been a terrific 2023-24 season for the Axtell boys, but make no mistake the Eagles entered the state playoffs with one goal, bringing home a championship. First off on their trek was a matchup with St. John Hudson in the opening round on Wednesday.

Both teams got off to a bit of a slow start but Wyatt Detweiler was able to get the Eagles on the scoreboard by hitting 1 of 2 free throws to go up 1-0. Once the dam was broken that’s when the Eagles came bursting through. Back to back treys from Eli Broxterman and Colin Shaughnessy put Axtell up 7-0.

Not to be left out Brandon Schmelzle buried a triple as well a couple of minutes later to give Axtell a 12-6 lead with 2 and change left in the 1st quarter. St. John’s would get going a bit and get it within 2 to end the first quarter 15-13.

They would tie the ballgame up just a minute later forcing Jayson Tynon to call a timeout now tied at 17. It would go back and forth for the rest of the 1st half but after a Schmelzle jumper the lead was up to 3 at 21-18 and pushing the lead to 4 at the halftime break at 24-20.

Once we reached the 2nd half that’s when Axtell started to pull away. The Eagles went on an 8-0 and suddenly lead by 9 just 2 minutes into the third. Later in the quarter, Eli Broxterman would hit a jumper from the elbow and then popped another one from behind the 3 point line to give him 7 points in the quarter his 17th point of the game and more importantly pushing the lead to double digits at 39-26. Eli finished with 18 as the leading scorer for Axtell.  

The Eagles would push the lead to 17 with just over 5 minutes to go and from there it was academic. The most incredible stat of the 2nd half The Axtell defense has held St. John's Tipton to just 8 points in the 2nd half with 4:30 to go in the game.

The dagger for BSJ came just a little bit later. Brandon Schmelzle steals the ball away and a slam on the opposite, one of two dunks for Schmelzle in the 4th quarter.

In all, Axtell held BSJ to just 12 2nd half points and would move on with a 54-32 win

2 seed Axtell (22-2) will face 6 seed Lebo (17-7) Friday at 6pm. Yes that Lebo, the Lebo Wolves team that as a 6 seed knocked off 2 seed Axtell out of last year’s tournament. The Eagles get the opportunity to avenge that loss coming up on Friday.

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