MERCERVILLE, Ohio — The Lady Eagles started the season off in a big way.
The Eastern girls basketball team forced shot over 50 percent from the field Monday night en route to an 83-23 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host South Gallia, in a rematch of last season’s Division IV District Final.
Eastern (1-0, 1-0 TVC Hocking) out scored the Lady Rebels (1-2, 0-1) 29-to-10 in the opening quarter, and 20-to-7 in the second period for a 49-17 halftime advantage.
Following the intermission the Lady Eagles cranked up the defense holding SGHS to three points in the third period, while scoring 25 and extending the lead to 74-20 with eight minutes to play. EHS slowed the pace for the fourth period and out scored the Red and Gold 9-to-3, capping off the 83-23 win.
Maddie Rigsby led the victors with 16 points on 6-of-10 from the field, followed by Jenna Burdette and Jordan Parker with 14 apiece. Burdette shot a game-high 71 percent from the field. Katie Keller marked 13 points in the triumph, Laura Pullins added, while senior Erin Swatzel had nine. Rounding out the Lady Eagles’ total were Hannah Barringer with four points and Alia Hayes with two.
As a unit Eastern shot 32-of-63 (51 percent) from the field, including 4-of-13 (31 percent) from beyond the arc. Jordan Parker hit a pair of three-pointers for EHS, while Burdette and Rigsby each made one. The Lady Eagles were 15-of-29 (52 percent) from the free throw line.
Mikayla Poling led the Lady Rebels with 11 points, followed by Alicia Hornsby and Sara Bailey with three points each. Ashley Northup, Rachel Johnson and Lesley Small each finished with two points in the game.
South Gallia shot 6-of-35 (17 percent) from the field, including 5-of-17 (29 percent) from three-point range. Poling was responsible for a trio of three-pointers, while Hornsby and Bailey each hit one. SGHS was 6-of-10 (60 percent) from the charity stripe.
Swatzel finished with a game-high eight rebounds for Eastern, Keller pulled down six, while Burdette, Pullins and Barringer each had four. Burdette and Parker each had seven assists, followed by Pullins with five. Burdette led the EHS defense with nine steals, followed by Parker with seven and Rigsby with four. Swatzel had the game’s lone blocked shot.
Poling had a team-best six rebounds for SGHS, followed by Courtney Haner, Caitlyn VansCoy and Rachel Johnson with three each. Lesley Small finished with team-highs in assists with two and steals with two.
Eastern held a 37-to-20 advantage in rebounds and a 10-to-28 advantage in turnovers.
The Lady Rebels and Lady Eagles will meet again on January 13, in Tuppers Plains.