Eaglins lead NewCath on courts/course

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A playful sibling rivalry has been percolating at their Cold Spring home.

The subject: Has Newport Central Catholic 5-foot-8 sophomore guard Caroline Eaglin ever beaten her older brother Caleb, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, 1-on-1 in pickup games at Northern Kentucky University?

“She has not beat me yet,” Caleb said.

Caroline countered: “Yes I have…I think last year.”

The Eaglins, the daughter and son of Paul and Sara Eaglin, are turning in some impressive statistics on the basketball court.

Especially Caroline: her 24.6 points a game (and 419 for the season) has her in third place in the state behind Kensley Feltner of Lawrence County (27.9 points) and Hazard’s Abby Maggard at 25.0.

What’s more, she averages a team-high 2.5 assists per contest and makes 74.7% of her free throws (133-of-178 so far), or just under eight per game. She also had a standout volleyball season as an outside hitter with 214 kills, 198 digs and 83 assists.

As a freshman last year, Caroline started alongside now-Thomas More University freshman Riley Turner, who was the state’s leading scorer during the 2021-22 season. (Turner’s 2,033 career points is second in school history to 2004 alumna Nicole Chiodi’s 2,124.)

Caroline Eaglin has had to be a more vocal leader this year; NewCath is 10-7 headed into Saturday’s game at Bishop Brossart, and the Thoroughbreds are missing one of only two seniors, Natalie Haigis, who tore an anterior cruciate knee ligament last month.

Newport Central Catholic sophomore Caroline Eaglin averages 24.6 points a game for Thoroughbreds, good enough for third in the state. Photo provided

NewCath girls coach Ralph Meyer said Caroline Eaglin’s improved aggressiveness – and drawing more fouls – is why she’s going to the line so much. 

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“She’s gotten a heck of a lot better this year at attacking the basket, which is also a reason she’s already shot 178 free throws on the year,” Meyer said. “I had to really encourage Caroline this year that we needed her to be the leader.

“…When you’ve made 133 free throws through 17 games, that’s a compliment to her game and her improvement on attacking the basket versus just being a 3-point shooter.”

Caleb Eaglin, meanwhile, averaged 13.7 points for the 9-10 Thoroughbreds in the first 13 games of the season. He’s made 53.4% of his shots (and 32% of 3-pointers), 58.8% of his free throws and a team-high 7.7 rebounds.

The aforementioned statistics are staying there a while – he broke both wrists Dec. 30 against Williamsburg at the Bill Perkins Holiday Classic in Williamsburg.

“We were transitioning back on defense,” Caleb said. “We got a steal, and I went on a fast-break layup. I should’ve dunked it – could’ve held onto the rim – but I went up for a layup, and the kid took my legs out.”

Caleb had surgery on his left wrist and just a cast on the right. Some good news: the casts come off Jan. 27.

A typical day at the Eaglins is pretty basic – school, practice, homework, bedtime, repeat. “That’s pretty much a simple day,” Caleb said.

Caleb Eaglin said he’s more a golfer than a basketball player. He finished third in the Region 8 tournament and tied for 33rd at the KHSAA state tournament in Bowling Green.

Newport Central junior Caleb Eaglin was a state qualifier, finishing third in last fall’s Region 8 tournament. He tied for 33rd at the state tournament at Bowling Green Country Club. Photo provided

“I focus on golf pretty much eight months of the year, usually,” he said. “The other four months is basketball season.”

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When the two are done at NewCath, Caroline Eaglin would like to play basketball in college. Caleb wants to play collegiate golf, earn a business degree and work with his dad, a vice president at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, a St. Augustine, Florida company that makes high-performance wire and cable interconnect systems for the aerospace, wireless communications, optical networking, test and measurement and computer/data communications industries.

But the debate goes on. Caroline said she won on a layup – a shot Caleb inexplicably did not reject and send to Southgate, Highland Heights or Cold Spring.“I really don’t think she’s beat me,” he said.

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