BEREA -- District foes Madison Southern and Model Laboratory battled it out in the first quarter, but the Eagles used two big runs in the second quarter to roll to a 65-53 win at home on Tuesday.
Model Laboratory (4-9) had three players end the game in double digits, but Southern's deep bench and balanced scoring paved the way to victory.
Cruse Pingleton led the Patriots with 18 points. Bryson Perry added 13 points and Camden Stamm had 10 points.
The Eagles (7-6) only had two players with double digit scoring --Chad Fugate led all players with 22 points and Hunter Buchanan with 12 -- but Southern had 22 bench points for the game compared to Model's six.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle.
The Patriots shot 46.7 percent from the field in the first quarter, while the Eagles struggled at 28.6 percent.
After Colby Sebastian gave the Eagles a two-point lead with two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Patriots responded with a 6-0 run to retake the lead.
Colton Collier sparked the run with a tip-in, Camden Stamm nailed a jumper and Cruse Pingleton capped the run with another basket to give Model their largest lead of the game, 15-11.
However, the Eagles were able to cut it back to one point at the end of the first quarter after a free throw from Jonah Wooten and a layup from Walt Smith.
The Patriots took a 15-14 lead going into the second quarter.
"We played really well offensively the past week in Florida and I was hoping that would transition into tonight, but it didn't… We got off to a slow start in the first quarter… All credit goes to Model, they played us really well on man-to-man and with their defense in the half court," Southern head coach Austin Newton said after the game.
The Eagles bounced back in the second quarter after their shooting warmed up and they applied some more defensive pressure to the hot-shooting Patriots.
Southern shot 57.1 percent (8-of-14) in the second quarter and limited the Patriots to just six points.
The Eagles started the second quarter strong on a 6-0 run.
Fugate made a jump shot and Samuel Lee grabbed two straight layups to push Southern ahead once more, 20-15.
After that, the Eagles never trailed again.
Pingleton got the Patriots back within three points with 3:40 left untill halftime, 22-19, but it was the closest they would get.
The Eagles closed out the first half on a 14-2 run to take a 15-point lead into the locker room.
"We played a lot better in the second quarter and that was thanks to our defense. I praised them at halftime for not letting those missed shots affect their game. We were able to come out and pressure them and were able to get Model to turn the ball over and make some points off those turnovers," Newton explained. "It's great to have a deep bench and that may have come into play tonight in the second quarter. I think we were able to wear them down by bringing in new guys."
Southern took its largest lead of the night with three minutes left in regulation when Buchanan drained a three-pointer from the left wing to make it 59-39.
For the Eagles, Jonah Wooten had nine points and eight rebounds. Nate Turner had eight points and five rebounds and two assists. Colby Sebastian had six points and two steals. Lee contributed four points, eight rebounds and four assists. Walt Smith had two points, eight rebounds and three assists. Britten Robinson had two points and two steals.
"Samuel Lee has been playing well for us and it's good we have a deep team because we can throw them out there and see who's playing well. The guys have been stepping up when some of our other guys are struggling," Newton said.
For the Patriots, Ethan Bailey had six points and five rebounds. Colton Collier had six points, six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Nate Feese added nine rebounds and a block.
The Eagles shot 38.8 percent from the field on Tuesday, while the Patriots were 46.7 percent from the field.
However, Southern shot 80 percent (8-of-10) from the free throw line while Model was just 37.5 percent (6-of-16).
Southern out-rebounded the Patriots 44-31 and had seven steals and 13 assists.
The Patriots also had 16 turnovers, which the Eagles turned into 21 points.
Newton said he has been encouraging his team to keep playing through adversity -- which they did on Tuesday.
"I've been telling the guys to just keep playing and to not let not making shots affect them. I want them to be able to play an entire game and weather the storm and that's what we did tonight," Newton said.
The Eagles will take on another district foe on Friday when they face the Pirates at Berea Community. Model takes on West Jessamine next on Friday at home.