For the first time this season, Rosepine head coach Greg Wood got a chance to look at four seniors playing basketball for the first time this season.
And no doubt, he came away pretty happy.
Brandon Maxile had 13 points in his debut, while sophomore Julius Jackson added 17 points as the Eagles defeated the Northwood Gators on Saturday to close out the Rosepine Tournament, 50-44.
Rosepine (3-0) had defeated Evans and Merryville in its first two games, playing without the services of Maxile and three other senior football players — Chase Blankenbaker, Logan Stracener and Andrew Burns.
The first period saw Wood go with the five starters from his first two games — Jackson, Richard Palmer, Breland Parot, Ethan Calcote and Kyle Dillon.
The opening stanza was a back-and-forth affair, with the lead changing hands on four occasions, the last being on a pair of free throws from Northwood's Francis Green, which was followed up by a bucket from Martavius Eldridge, giving the Gators (1-2) an 11-7 lead.
However, Jackson drilled a three-pointer to end the first period, getting the Eagles back to within a point, 11-10.
The football players joined Jackson on the court in the second period and payed immediate dividends.
The Eagles outscored Northwood, 18-16, in the frame, getting seven points from Maxile, along with eight points from Jackson and a three from Shane Longoria.
However, Eldridge and cohort Tim Lee kept the Gators close as they trailed by just one point at intermission, 28-27.
A quick bucket from Dillon gave the Eagles a three-point lead out of the break, but a three-point play from Eldridge tied it up at 30-30.
Burns, Jackson and Maxile each scored in a 6-0 Rosepine run, but Lee hit a bucket to stop the surge temporarily, 36-32.
A shot from Calcote, along with a basket by Palmer saw the Eagles open up an eight-point lead, 40-32.
However, the Gators answered with a 6-2 surge to end the quarter, getting four points from Jonathan Turner in cutting the deficit to 42-38 going into the last eight minutes.
A pair of free throws from Terry Gullette got the Gators to within two points, but Jackson hit a long three, with Maxile and Burns adding later goals for a 49-42 lead.
After a pair of free throws from Lee cut the deficit to five points, a technical was assessed against a Northwood player for untucking his shirt on the court before leaving the contest.
Jackson hit a free throw to seal the deal, 50-44.
Palmer added five for the Eagles, while Burns and Calcote chipped in with four points each.
Lee paced the Gators with 14 points, while Eldridge added 13 points. Gullette chipped in with nine.
The Eagles return to action Monday at the Westlake Tournament, taking on the host Rams at 8 p.m.