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Eagles win fourth straight 5A title
Caden Mills slams it in the District 5A championship against Richard Hardy Memorial School on Saturday night. Mills was named tournament MVP and finished the game with 40 points.

Call the Van Buren County boys basketball team a dynasty.

Ranked No. 2 in the state, the Eagles earned their fourth straight district championship with a victory over the Richard Hardy Memorial School Hawks on Saturday night at Whitwell High School. 

Van Buren County captured a 74-54 win for the district title behind a monster, 40-point night from Mr. Basketball finalist and tournament MVP Caden Mills.

Van Buren County fans filled the stands as the Eagles came out ready to play and gained an early lead. Mills drained four 3-pointers and Bo Walker added two as the Eagles outscored the Hawks, 29-14.

By the time the first half ended, Mills had poured in 25 points, enough to outscore the Hawks on his own. Van Buren County was up 49-22 at the break.

“We came out ready to play in the first half and we kind of got a little lackadaisical in the second half and shots didn’t fall,” said Van Buren County coach Dustin Sullivan. “Overall they are a lot better team than many realize, but the way we came out and built the lead in the first half while playing with a lot of energy, I’m proud of them.”

In the second half, the Eagles came out with a slower pace but Mills and Walker still found ways to score in the third quarter. With a 57-33 lead over the Hawks going into the fourth quarter, Van Buren County picked the pace back up by working the ball inside to post Jared Binkley, who had 6 of his 10 points in the fourth.

Mills made sure the Hawks knew he could fly by slamming two more down with a big dunk as Van Buren County won, 74-54.