There was perfection on the home court Tuesday night, when the Eden Prairie Eagles opened the boys basketball season with an 83-59 win over St. Cloud Tech.
“We have to look at whatever the record is,” Eagles head coach David Flom said after the game. “Certainly that’s got to be a record for Eden Prairie. I don’t know statewide. 10-for-10 and nine-for-nine. That’s a pretty efficient game.”
Flom was referring to the numbers put up by senior Chiddi Obiazor against the Tigers. Obiazor had 29 points and 14 rebounds to start the season, but that’s burying the lede.
The power forward also went a perfect 10-for-10 from the field and hit all nine of his shots from the free-throw line.
The perfect shooting performance is indeed a school record for field goals – eclipsing Erik P. Anderson’s nine-for-nine output from the field against Eastview in 2000-01.
Obiazor must have been in the zone, because he was unaware that he hadn’t missed a shot until the game was over.
“Coming back to the locker room after the game, they told me,” Obiazor said. “I didn’t realize it in the game.”
Recently, Obiazor has spent more time chasing down quarterbacks than breaking roundball records. He was a standout defensive end for the Eagles football team that reached the state semifinals in November. But he’s now made the transition to the hardcourt.
“It’s a little bit different than hitting people every play. Now, it’s a lot more cardio,” he said. “Tryouts are tough and just getting back into the groove was tough, but I’m ready for the season now.”
Eden Prairie appeared ready for the new season with their win over the Tigers. After a 35-35 tie at halftime, the Eagles went on a 15-0 run to start the second half, pulling away from Tech the rest of the way en route to their first win.
Senior Luke Rapp hit back-to-back three-point shots to help spark the run, and the Eagles never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the game.
Obiazor’s 29 points led all scorers. Sophomore Max Lorenson added 13 points, and sophomore JJ Sullivan put up 12 for Eden Prairie.
Despite capturing a win on opening night, there is one particular facet of their game the head coach hopes to improve – protecting the ball.
“We talked about the first game of the year, it’s almost always about who has more energy and you’re fully expecting to make lots of mistakes,” Flom said. “That being said, I didn’t expect 25 turnovers. I can’t remember the last time Eden Prairie has had that many turnovers.”
Eagles had twice as many rebounds as the Tigers, coming off the boards with 36 rebounds to Tech’s 18. And as the game wore on, Eden Prairie appeared to grow stronger. They never trailed after halftime and outscored the Tigers 47-24 in the second half.
“There were aggressive young mistakes,” Flom said. “You can see we’ve got lots of talent here that we’re gonna be pretty good by the end and it’s a good good way to start the year for sure.”
Coming off last year’s state quarterfinal appearance, Flom likes what he sees up and down his youthful roster.
“The reality is I think by the end we’re going to be as good as anybody in the state,” Flom said. “We’re gonna have a blast. We’re gonna have a lot of fun. Those are kind of the expectations.”
The Eagles will have a chance to avenge their 2022 state quarterfinal loss in their next game. Eden Prairie faces Eastview Thursday at 7 p.m. at EPHS.
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