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Warriors finish regular season at 2-22 with two more losses

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By Tommie Kendall

With just two wins - the fewest in coach Keith Blackburn's seven-year tenure as the head basketball coach at Eminence High School - the Warriors are in a bit of a slump. But on Tuesday night, when they played Anderson County in the 30th District tournament, they got one more go around and a chance to shine some light on the sub-par season.

Eminence finished its regular season with two losses in the final week of play - losing at Evangel Christian (64-46) last Wednesday and to Whitefield Academy (66-50) Saturday night.

The Whitefield loss was in conjunction with Eminences Homecoming and Senior Night, which ended the Warriors campaign at 2-22.

Whitefield scored the first basket against Eminence and stretched the lead to almost 10 points before the Warriors closed the gap to 15-11 after the first quarter. Dre Banta's three-point basket with 7:30 left in the second quarter tied the game at 15, and another three-pointer from the freshman at 5:02 gave Eminence its first lead of the game, 19-17.

But Whitefield swished a three-pointer at the other end to go back in front, and stretched its lead to 34-21 at the half. Whitefield never trailed again.

Late in the second quarter, during the final 35 seconds, Whitefield scored eight unanswered points to take a comfortable advantage into the break.

Whitefield then outscored Eminence 32-29 during the final two quarters to cruise in for the 16-point victory, which gave the Warriors a loss in their final home game of their two-win season.

Eminence's two wins have come against Kentucky School for the Deaf and Paris.

Blackburn took over the Eminence program in 2002, when he compiled a 10-14 record that first season. He then led the Warriors to 8-17, 12-15, 14-12, 14-13 and 8-18 seasons. Their back-to-back winning seasons in 2005 and 2006 were the first for the squad in 20 years.

Eminence (2-22, 0-9 region, 0-3 district) played as the No.4 seed against No. 1 Anderson County Tuesday at Spencer County High School. Anderson (19-4, 12-0, 3-0) defeated Eminence 73-40 the only time the two teams met this season - at Anderson Jan. 15. The winner of the Eminence-Anderson game this time around will play either No. 2 Shelby County or No. 3 Spencer this Saturday at 3 p.m. for the district title.

E-mail us about this story at sports@hcalocal.com.